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The American Poetry Review - June 2005

This issue of American Poetry Review, the bimonthly newsprint journal that keeps its readers on the cutting edge of poetry criticism, features poems by Donald Revell, translations of Vallejo by Clayton Eshleman, a review of Michael Ryan and a smattering of his poems, and several excellent poems by Anne Marie Macari, but the standout features for me were two essays. One was Dana Levin’s perceptive essay “The Heroics of Style” on the effects of stylistic pressures on the poetry of Sylvia Plath, and the other was John Yau’s piece, “The Poet as Art Critic,” on John Ashbery and Frank O’Hara’s writing on art criticism. Here is a quote from Levin’s essay: “Inevitable for someone who vacillated between being God and being Betty Grable, such literary ambitions were riddled with anxieties stemming from her place as a woman. ‘If I were a man, I would write a novel about this,’ Plath laments…But where the journals and letters fret and boast by 1959 the poems are sure; if domestic perfection and gender conformity mean silencing the full range of Plath’s voice, then the poems will fight.” I applaud APR for keeping a lively and intelligent discourse among poets in their insightful prose pieces. [American Poetry Review, 117 South 17th Street, Suite 910, Philadelphia, PA 19103. Email: . Single issue $3.95.] – Jeannine Hall Gailey
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Review Posted on May 31, 2005

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