World Poetry, Inc

The American Poetry Review

The American Poetry Review January/February 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.

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United States
World Poetry, Inc
6 Issues

in this issue

1 min
still life with defeats

You must know how to lose and draw near to touch the Medusa jellyfish with a sure hand to touch like a fruit the curve of the pain the floral taciturn measure of the defeat in the collective basket of bread and defeats where there is room for the hand the grapes the almonds TATIANA OROÑO is a professor of literature and a well-known art and literary critic. She is the author of eight books, including Estuario (Estuario, Montevideo, Uruguay, 2014), La Piedra Nada Sabe (Estuario, Montevideo, 2008), Morada Móvil (Ed. Artefato, Montevideo, 2004); and Tout fut ce qui ne fut pas / Todo tuvo la forma que no tuvo (Écrits des Forges, France, 2002). She has been a strong advocate for women writers and artists and was the organizer of the first Encuentro de Literatura Uruguya de Mujeres. Her poetry has…

2 min
two poems

Owl in the Gloaming Although real birders frown on it, I play back songs of birds trying to lure them out of the wood: “scree-chee-chee” of song sparrow, mashing notes of catbird, “what-cheer, what-cheer, what-cheer” of cardinal. This irritates the birds. They fly reconnaissance over my head. Catbird looping furtive patterns above me, crossing the path from tree to tree. Sparrow chasing catbird, thinking he’s got too close, although the interloper was me in the unquiet afternoon sloughing into evening. Now, a monotonous trill, tremulous horse-whinny of the screech owl— unmistakable, hideous laughter. Then, overhead, something large, gray, all wing beat and bodily hum. All other birds go silent, in the owl’s shadow. Hidden in the trees, his scaly, bark-like feathers, can’t be made out in the gloaming. Now there’s a distant thrumming, not from the bird app on my phone. Rather, from within my chest, vibrating on this turning earth, under an owl’s wing. Deaths of the Poets Sweet sorrow then, when poets…

11 min
twenty-one paragraphs and an interview

Collecting the Evidence when I am lost, which is always in this gray country, this violent foster home —Franny Choi So, like a forgotten fire, a childhood can always flare up again within us. —Gaston Bachelard ~ My childhood happened in black and white, and like noir films was oneric, strange, erotic, ambivalent, and cruel. My early poems allude to noir for the same reason my students write about their lived experience through films, video, music. Noirs were popular culture. They were also documentary. The mood, occurrences, even the famous visual signatures of noir, were not only a style, they were actual. They were archival. ~ In Preface to a Twenty Volume Suicide Note, in 1961, Leroi Jones asks wearily, “When is the end of the Second World War?” My childhood teemed with images of The War, and the Korean and…

12 min
what the neoliberal policy labs eat and shit

My translational intent has nothing to do with personal growth, intellectual exercise, or cultural exchange, which implies an equal standing of some sort. South Korea and the U.S. are not equal. I am not transnationally equal. My intent is to expose what a neocolony is, what it does to its own, what it eats and shits. Kim Hyesoon’s poetry reveals all this, and this is why I translate her work. — Don Mee Choi, Freely Frayed, =q, & Race=Nation (Wave Books, 2014) 1 Thinking about the US reception of translated Chilean poems of historical horror, a useful starting place is the following book review on the website for Jack Schmitt’s translation of Raul Zurita’s Anteparaiso. The review is written by the US poet David Kirby and it was first published in Library…

2 min
three poems

How to Keep Alive Think of where you’ll bury them the potatoes have the fat look of some starving people I try to watch what I say I see it crawling among the cabbage worms just above the water table the threat outlasts the emergency the wolf has been long extinct is the main ingredient in some cultures the belief that lettuces grow by moonlight by feel by the bird’s vibration a city under its wing in a crouch how they rarely collide that ought to be reward enough How to Rise Up like New Bread It is hard not to be impatient at our slowness and how much breath we require sometimes more than a lung’s space when I was sick I looked most like myself it’s surprising you’d think the manatee would clot the canal is admitting boats almost indiscriminately the slow slur of bilge water pulled into a frenzied smoothness…

2 min
ode to abstractions

Because we can’t touch or taste ghosts but we sense them. Because abstract or not: adoration, sacrifice—many someones are surely intimately inside them now. Because signifiers, even though amorphous. Because amorphous can be solace to the single. Believe me. Because alone, low, lowing. The teacher says, “We all communicate with abstractions at times . . .” (and I picture fourth graders working up steam, trying to address courage or deceit) . . . but “abstract nouns can’t convey things we experience with our senses.” Wrong! Say fear and my stomach plummets. On cue, a tangible raccoon ambles toward the open bulkhead and I convey displeasure, loudly. Let’s say I become a banshee. O the outside inside. O peripheral vision. He wants to move in, to paw specific jars of tomato sauce off my pantry shelf onto the cellar’s cement like last year. Teacher says, “Abstract words mean different…