Author: Curt Rode

How Love and Death Entwine with Hair in Written on the Body

Review by Candace Walsh Hair is a lot of things to a lot of people. It can be lustrous, ringleted, blown out, windblown, extended, relaxed, permed, colored, ratted, knotty, braided, crimped, flipped, thinning, thinned-out, topknotted, cropped, and shorn. But at the beginning, middle, and end of the day, hair is dead. We walk around with dead stuff hanging from our… Read more →

Matthew Pitt Interviewed by Sapling from Black Lawrence Press

Editor’s Note: We reprint the below interview with kind permission from our friends at Sapling (#570), a publication of Black Lawrence Press. This week Sapling speaks with Matthew Pitt editor @ descant. * Sapling: What should people know who may not be familiar with descant? Matthew Pitt: We are an annual journal, and have published continuously for almost 60 years (with Issue 59 out in late… Read more →

‘Ill Angels’ by Dante Di Stefano

Review by Brian Fanelli Since 2016, it’s been impossible to turn away from screaming headlines and global unrest. Ill Angels, Dante Di Stefano’s second full-length collection of poems, is a post-2016  book, but one that never mentions Donald Trump by name. There is a poem titled “The 45th” and poems written shortly before and after the election, but Di Stefano… Read more →

Four Poems by Gary McDowell

MY WIFE TURNS 39 The overnight part. Lightning like struck matches, distant, heat I cannot touch. Step into the ghost— it won’t mind—and pull yourself through the rain-glint. Your hands a halo, your voice a folio of do not disturb. The storm owes a debt. It drapes and cleaves in every direction. Memory at the speed of thunder, a refusal… Read more →

On Aimee Nezhukumatathil’s ‘Oceanic’

Review by Samantha Finley   The love for one’s home in Aimee Nezhukumatathil’s work is consistently explored and displayed through dynamic layers of both environmental and geographical contexts. This has been true from her 2003 debut, Miracle Fruit, to her subsequent collections, At the Drive-In Volcano, and Lucky Fish. In her newest, Oceanic, Nezhukumatathil elegantly embodies her Filipina-Malayali-Indian culture, while… Read more →

 Landscape and Sorrow in Three Experimental Texts

Review by Kristina Marie Darling   In much of contemporary poetry, landscape becomes a convenient vehicle for dramatizing the inner life of the speaker.  And so the florid hills that surround us, with their clean lines and small enclosures, serve as a simple metonymy for complex emotional and intellectual discoveries.  What’s more, these narratives are related to us from a distance,… Read more →

“Letting them stay, in some measure, unknown”: Affect & the Object World in Two Recent Hybrid Texts

Review by Kristina Marie Darling   Recent years have seen a resurgence of interest in archival material among creative practitioners.  Indeed, these excavations of our literary and cultural past range from rigorous scholarly engagement – as is the case with Janet Holmes’ unearthing of Dickinson’s activist poetics in THE MS OF MY KIN – to the deeply personal exploration of… Read more →

Checking In (Adeena Karasick and Jim Andrews)

 Jim Andrews on the Aleph Null too and his collaboration Adeena Karasick: The text in the video is from her new book of poetry–titled Checking In–forthcoming from Talonbooks in Vancouver. Maria Damon said this about Adeena Karasick’s book Checking In: “Aesthetically innovative and intellectually stimulating, Checking In is a restless and propulsive commentary and parody of our habitual and often… Read more →

Martha Silano’s The Little Office of the Immaculate Conception

Reviewed by Alex Lemon Happy New Year!  Shout out to this American apocalypse we are living through, the warming season of hair-flavored candy canes beneath the couch cushions and most especially, the flu!  Hey there sickness! “Any man can go without food for two days,” Baudelaire said, “but not without poetry,” and how true this quote is for the horror… Read more →

Shannon Hardwick on “How a Hand is Made”

Read “How a Hand is Made” on Verse Daily This poem was born from the desire to write my own version of the creation myth—the need to re-imagine how a body is assembled as I was wrestling with a primal sense of guilt for tearing the idea of a body apart. My series on How Things Are Made was written a year… Read more →