Elizabeth Savage

'The government of love'

A review of Elizabeth Willis's 'Alive'

Image of Elizabeth Willis (left) courtesy of Kelly Writers House.

The speaker of “Survey,” a long poem among the “New and Uncollected” of Elizabeth Willis’s Alive: New and Selected Poems, illustrates public interest and personal exposure combining to make an American lyric. 

The speaker of “Survey,” a long poem among the “New and Uncollected” of Elizabeth Willis’s Alive: New and Selected Poems, illustrates public interest and personal exposure combining to make an American lyric. As the title suggests, the poem responds to an easily imagined questionnaire ranking priorities and concerns with a list of wishes and worries, two of perhaps the most private and maligned categories of our Just Do It culture in which both wishes and worries are judged as failures of will.

'silence isn't always a trick'

Thomas Devaney's 'Calamity Jane'

Photo of Thomas Devaney (right) by David Kelley.

Thomas Devaney’s dedication for Calamity Jane, “A Solo Opera for Jeanine Oleson,” situates Calamity Jane — famous as a gunslinger, sidekick of Wild Bill Hickok, and heroine of dozens of dime novels[1] — more overtly in the realm of dramatic performance than in the realm of Western myth.

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