Peter Cole thinks of all poetry as translation. “Writing one’s own poetry, you’re translating a nonverbal experience or a less than articulate experience into something much more articulate,” he told Art Beat. In addition to writing his own, Cole translates Hebrew and Arabic poetry into English. When Cole finished translating 2,000 years of Jewish mystical poetry for his previous project “The Poetry of Kabbalah” (Yale University Press, 2012), he was ready to start producing his own work again, but it wasn’t a simple or easy transition. Continue reading
Poet Elizabeth Alexander “cant untether” herself from history, especially when reflecting on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. When she offered her own work in commemoration of the holiday, Alexander read four poems that travel through history to “give us a little bit more to chew on in thinking about what this day means.” Continue reading
For a long time, poet Lorna Goodison thought her creative talents would lead to a profession in the visual arts. But “one day the painting stopped coming, and I was just writing all the time,” Goodison said. Like a scorned lover, her talent and passion for painting “went off in a huff because I wasn’t paying any attention to it.”
Poet Gregory Orr rhapsodizes on a theme he has explored for nearly a decade: the “beloved,” the things we love. Of course, what we love can change over time, he says. “It can make you crazy by … shifting from … Continue reading
Meena Alexander reads a poem, “Experimental Geography,” from her soon to be published collection, “Birthplace with Buried Stones.” Alexander is an English professor at the City University of New York and teaches at Hunter College and the Graduate Center, City University of New York.
Hailey Leithauser’s poetry has appeared in the Gettysburg Review, Poetry and in the Best American Poetry and Best New Poets anthologies. Her first book, “Swoop,” won the Poetry Foundation’s Emily Dickinson First Book Award. That collection will be published in October.