Cultuur & Literatuur
The American Poetry Review

The American Poetry Review November/December 2017

The American Poetry Review reaches a worldwide audience six times a year with the finest contemporary poetry, columns, interviews, photos, translations, and reviews. Every issue includes new voices, established masters, and exciting new translations.

United States
World Poetry, Inc
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6 Edities

in deze editie

10 min.
four poems

Ode on Anger, the Dalai Lama, and Elliot’s Red Boots I get this story second hand since I’m not speaking to my brother, who can be charming until he isn’t which always happens, and his main beef against me seems to be that I’m older, which I can’t see any way of changing except by sorcery or a rift in the time-space continuum, but my sister calls me with an report every time he checks in and the latest is that he finds a photo of the Dalai Lama as a boy, which he places by his bed, only he doesn’t know that it’s the Dalai Lama, who comes to him in a dream and tells my brother that he has to let go of his anger, to which he replies, “I don’t want to. I love my anger,” and the Dalai Lama…

7 min.

The radio clicks on—it’s poor swollen America, Up already and busy selling the exhausting obligation Of happiness while intermittently debating whether or not A man who kills fifty people in five minutes With an automatic weapon he has bought for the purpose Is mentally ill. Or a terrorist. Or if terrorists Are mentally ill. Because if killing large numbers of people With sophisticated weapons is a sign of sickness— You might want to begin with fire, our early ancestors Drawn to the warmth of it—from lightning, Must have been, the great booming flashes of it From the sky, the tree shriveled and sizzling, Must have been, an awful power, the odor Of ozone a god’s breath; or grass fires, The wind whipping them, the animals stampeding, Furious, driving hard on their haunches from the terror Of it, so that to fashion some campfire of burning wood, Old…

19 min.
the greed for pure poetry

FOR YEARS, I HAVE TRIED TO RECONCILE my belief in poetry with what I think of poets as people. It wasn’t always this way. Like many young adults, I replaced faith in God and religion with a faith in poems and poetry. This, I know now, set myself up for a series of colossal disappointments. How would I have known that poets could be just as corrupt as the Pharisees in front pews? How would I have known about poets’ delusions of being unacknowledged legislators of the world, prophets, god-substitutes? How would I have known that all poets are, to a certain degree, sociopaths, and that, to hijack Rilke’s famous line, every poet is terrifying? “No artist has ethical sympathies,” Oscar Wilde writes. “An ethical sympathy in an artist is an…

6 min.
two poems

Everything Will Always Be Okay For the one who forgives, it is simply a death, a dying down in the heart, the position of the already dead … a bottomless vacancy held by the living, beyond all that is hated or loved. —Claudia Rankine, from “Don’t Let Me Be Lonely” What’s so funny? the commandant demanded. Nothing! I cried. I was, at last, broken. I had, at last, spoken. Don’t you get it? I cried. The answer is nothing! —Viet Thanh Nguyen, from The Sympathizer Nothing could be more important. Nothing more than somethings whose leaves fall when nothing sweeps its arms. This is what I am beginning to understand, under the lightning which turns the skull of the beach blue like nothing I have ever seen. I have seen. The bodies moving beside me, bound by secretions that flake into…

2 min.
become a friend of apr

Dear Reader, We are grateful for the support that you, a Friend of APR, have shown the magazine. We hope you will join us again now, in our 46th year, to keep The American Poetry Review going strong during this difficult time for literature and all of the arts. In 2017 we continued uninterrupted publication of APR with six outstanding issues representing the work of 120 writers, including Terrance Hayes, Sasha Pimentel, Ada Limon, Kaveh Akbar, Clint Smith, Marie Howe, Kazim Ali, Spencer Reece, and many others. We published the 20th volume in the APR/ Honickman First Book series: River Hymns by Tyree Daye, selected by Gabrielle Calvocoressi, and we awarded the 8th Annual Stanley Kunitz Memorial Prize to Ruth Madievsky. Madievsky’s winning poem, “Wormhole,” appears on the feature page of the…

2 min.
the chalk you made (for luke)

What if I was my sympathy becoming and the sum total of your tatters plus unwoven reeds were nothing what if nothing could possibly gather us back to the many- parted parted-ways of so long a time unshorn what if I was my burning internal my fast-slipped-away beloved and the something short inside me I tried to give you surfaced as an incomplete rendering what if inside what I knew to say its limitation were its gift and I’d not seen it not stood sideways in wind after which no leaves after which winter and the counting of months since/months-after what if brown and browning every bit’s my preparation for another thing coming rocks through windows nights of lights burning what if your chalk’s white where your clouds rise and smudged blue wings with a body a flying…