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Court Green - 2015

  • Issue Number: Number 2
  • Published Date: 2005
  • Publication Cycle: Annual
Court Green does as good a job as any journal I know of offering just the right mix of established and lesser-known poets. Whatever the length of their résumés, Court Green poets tend to be clever, sharp-witted, and philosophically astute (Elaine Equi, Maureen Seaton, Deborah Bernhardt, Veronique Pittolo, translated by Rosemarie Waldrop). The whole issue is satisfying, although there are several high points. These include Maureen Seaton's, "When I Was a Criminal," a prose poem in thirteen sections, interrupted by a list poem (section ii) that continues the thread of the title ("When I was a Witch Burner / When I Was the Staten Island Ferry / When I was John Belushi / When I was Cyrano de Bergerac"); and newcomer Sun Yung Shin's "Half the Business," the finest, most original poem I've encountered on the subject of aging: "We should all have two languages, one of our childhood, and one of our / deathbed. / God, let these two be the same. / No more songs about bureaucrats, armies, a confetti of human hair." Published annually, each issue features a special "dossier," here, a tribute to Lorine Niedecker. Unlike a lot of work written (often hastily, it seems to me) to satisfy a particular theme or focus, these poems celebrating Niedecker's oeuvre are, for the most part, exceptionally good. Particularly noteworthy are poems by C.D. Wright, "The Same Water Everywhere," Anne Waldman, "flowers of war," and Dan Beachy-Quick, "(L.N.)." Gail Roub's photos of Niedecker on Blackhawk Island provide a meaningful visual context for the many poems that refer to the island and Niedecker's relationship to life in this place ("party of one," writes C.D. Wright). [Court Green, Columbia College of Chicago, English Department, 600 South Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL 60605. Single Issue: $10.] — Sima Rabinowitz

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Review Posted on March 12, 2015

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