Commentaries

Anne Tardos

'The Poet,' from 'The Exploding Nothingness of Never Define'

[A preview from Anne Tardos’s latest book of poetry, soon to be published by BlazeVOX Books, and a statement about the dynamics and the nature of “the poet,” and much else.]

Eduardo Espina's letter for Jose Kozer's eightieth birthday

(translated by Diane Rolnick)

March 30, 2020

Dear José:

On feminist poetics and pedagogy

Meeting Bhanu Kapil

Photo of Bhanu Kapil by Kelly Writers House staff.

I’m very excited to be here with Andrea Quaid and everyone today for collective conversations on feminist poetics and pedagogy. Like to many people, the two may not seem like conjoined subjects. I also admit I don’t purport to know much about the intersections of the two. I’ve explored both separately — pedagogy in the classroom, the jail, the digital space; poetry on the page, the classroom, in jars  I’m excited either way for an exploration of both poetry and pedagogy, two passions that should intersect for me. Upon conversations with Andrea over the years, we’ve been keen to understand that as feminists engaged with poetics, our interests and work in pedagogy have often not had a space for the two to intersect. Yet, as the quote from feminist poet Adrienne Rich explains to graduating women, education is a privilege and must be claimed. Why should feminist poets reclaim pedagogy as our own? In the symposium we’re hoping for a space that can facilitate this conversation. What does poetics offer pedagogy, and how it can facilitate the difference between life and death and the promise of education? 

The first thing I want to say to you who are students, is that you cannot afford to think of being here to receive an education: you will do much better to think of being here to claim one … 

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  • Truth and revolution

    Gabriela Portillo Alvarado

    Editorial assistant Gabriela Portillo Alvarado makes her capsule reviews debut with writing on three poetry titles featuring love, resistance, and truth: Valuing by Christopher Kondrich, Are the Rivers in Your Poems Real by Moez Surani, and dayliGht by Roya Marsh. From the reviews: Valuing’s perhaps most prominent feature is romantic tenderness: “And though I have no holdings, / you may increase your stock in me; / you may reserve the right to vessel. To partition if you need to.” Through often-abstract wordplay, which rises to the surface of every page, Kondrich reveals his love of and mastery over language. Are the Rivers in Your Poems Real focuses on a variety of subjects from daily commute to relationships, from travels in India to New York Times references. Surani delves into his experiences with romantic love: “When we aren’t lured by mystery we’ll seek it in others. […] / Is love simply chasing after another’s full and elusive truth?”

    'The Course' by Ted Greenwald and Charles Bernstein

    On July 2, 2015, Ted and I started on a collaboration, which we continued until June 11, 2016, just six days before Ted died. Ted and I exchanged lines back and forth over email, sometimes multiple times in a day and never less than every few days. After a while neither of us could fully separate what each had done, we were blowing together, back and forth, in a duet of, and as, time, bouncing off the moment as if it were a trampoline, tripping out into the eternity of the company, from dark to delight. There was no sense of unnecessary limit, no register we couldn’t play.