Articles - March 2023

The poetics of the ostrakon

N. H. Pritchard's 'Mundus' at the Whitney Museum

Portion of ‘Sappho 2’ ostracon. Image adapted from a photo via Wikimedia Commons.

What is an ostrakon? And what does an ostrakon have to do with the work of N. H. Pritchard? Norman Henry Pritchard was a member of the Umbra poets in the Lower East Side in the 1960s and a self-avowed “transrealist” who blended visual and sound poetry in many of his poems, some of which might be termed quasisurrealist or quasi-imagistic.

these are my eyes: Michele Leggott's poetry

With 'A Vida Portugeusa,' a new poem by Michele Leggott

“chisel-bouncer / you are the big stick / made with fire / and containing the means / of making more sacred and profane” (“te ahi tapu rākau / jacob’s fire song,” ‘MIRABILE DICTU,’ 18). Pictured left to right: New Zealand poets laureate Elizabeth Smither, Michele Leggott, Jenny Bornholdt, Brian Turner, and Bill Manhire. Photo by Maarten Holl, courtesy of Stuff Limited.

The volume MIRABILE DICTU (2009) celebrates Michele Leggott’s tenure as inaugural Aotearoa-New Zealand poet laureate (2007–9) and marks an inflection point in her poetic career. In brief, the volume presents a world of adaptation: coming and going, joining and severing, isolation and community.