“A lot of poetry today gets by with flairs of language, or superficial risks. But it’s about sincerity – it’s the same for fiction. I always hope that writing better means living better. I think the genre distinctions between poetry and fiction have more to do with marketing than anything else.”
by Greg Schutz
According to the Weekly World News, I am writing on the verge of apocalypse and this blog post will never be read. The nineteenth of December: two days until we reach the terminus of the ancient Mayan calendar and find ourselves ushered into a future better left to the imagination of Roland Emmerich. Or Nancy Lieder. Or John of Patmos. Or whomever. Apocalypses come and go, and if some prophets, like the Revelator or Nostradamus, achieve a more lasting fame than others, it seems to have little to do with their accuracy as doomsayers. What’s worth noting about our latest onrushing apocalypse, however, is just how timely it seems.
by Claire Skinner
Above all else, a poem must be fun. Even poems that deal with decidedly not-fun topics (death, disaster, cruelty) must have elements of joy.
Fun. Not exactly a word thrown about in academic circles or in serious reviews of serious poetry. But, if a poem’s not fun, the likelihood of me finishing it (or enjoying it) are slim to none.
For a special issue on translation—in the broadest sense of the word—we welcome stories, poems, and essays that either exemplify translation as practice or meditate on translation as phenomenon.
In 1772, the twenty-six-year-old violinmaker Henry Whiteside began to build a lighthouse on a pile of rocks twenty miles off the coast of Pembrokeshire, Wales, called the Smalls. His design was unusual; the light perched on top of eight oak piers like the head of a stiff-legged octopus. Rather than making a solid base, Whiteside reasoned, he would let the force of the waves pass through the structure. But when the waves did so, the living quarters swayed violently; one visitor reported that a full bucket of water was half empty by the time he left. The force of the storm made each thing—bucket, glass, stove, table—resonant; it bent the lighthouse, shaping it into an instrument of music.