The Blog


Chris Martin

You may come to this book looking for a stance on Beauty. You may come to it looking for more Snoop Dogg references. You may come looking for a catalog of Mark Leidner’s Twitter feed. In each of these cases you will arrive misguided, but by the time you realize it you will be halfway through this immanently readable book and a couple of express stops past your intended subway exit. In adopting the serial aphorism for his debut collection of poetry, Beauty Was the Case that They Gave Me (Factory Hollow 2011), Leidner doesn’t so much aim for Nietzsche as shoot for perpetual brain spasm, a sort of intellectual pleasure buzz built on the evolution of a comic theme over lines.

Dark Translation: Tim Parks on Pesky Poet-Translators

Russell Scott Valentino

Tim Parks, one of TIR’s contributors to its Forum on Literature and Translation, just published this piece at the NYR Blog,, which from the very start stacks the deck against poor poet-translators by suggesting that they rarely know their source material well enough to really free themselves from it. The point might seem paradoxical at first, and he appears to be aware of this, when he notes

Sarah Goldstein's FABLES

Nick Ripatrazone

In 1902, W.B. Yeats—according to his unused preface for Ideas of Good and Evil—told James Joyce that he had based his recent plays “on emotions or stories that I had got out of folklore.”[i]  Yeats also imbued the folk tradition in his Red Hanrahan stories in The Secret Rose, and collected Sligo County oral tales in Celtic Twilight.  Joyce called Yeats’s practice “deteriorating” but borrowed and revised Irish myth himself, first in a short story, “Clay,” and most notably in Finnegans Wake.

Judith Skillman's THE WHITE CYPRESS

Janelle Elyse Kihlstrom

In her thirteenth collection of poems, The White Cypress, Judith Skillman takes up again the tools of naturalistic observation and mythical allusion to examine difficult truths about the interior life of the self and its drives toward intimacy and seclusion, eroticism and entropy, as well as the paradox and complexity inherent in familial relationships. Skillman's tone is occasionally lofty but most often direct, incisive, unflinching. Her unerringly sharp eye for detail earns these heavily imagistic yet philosophical poems their weight.


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