A Poetry Daily Prose Feature:
"Dickey said that he was, in Wordsworth's phrase, a poet of "the second birth," not one who, like Rimbaud or Dylan Thomas, had a natural instrument for poetry. The way a "made" poet such as Dickey catches up to a "born" poet is, "if at all, by years of the hardest kind of work, much luck, much self-doubt, many false starts, and the difficult and ultimately moral habit of trying each poem, each line, each word, against the shifting but finally constant standards of inner necessity." It could be said that Dickey brought a kind of athleticism to his work, with an athlete's dedication to a perfected performance that he recognized in the story of football player Jim Marshall: determination is more important than physical gifts. Dickey's preferred analogy for his process of composition was the mining of "low-grade ore." "I work like a gold-miner refining low-grade ore: a lot of muck and dirt with a very little gold in it. Backbreaking labor! Infinite! But when this kind of worker gets what he's after, he has the consolation of knowing that the substance he winds up with is as much real gold as it would be if he had just gone around picking up nuggets off the ground." Poets of the second birth often bloom late, and so it was with Dickey."—Ward Briggs, Introduction to The Complete Poems of James Dickey
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"Portland School spirit, by way of Long Island"
David Biespiel continues his series on the "Portland School" of poetry with a look at Henry Hughes's work and his poem "Rock Wallabies." (The Oregonian)
“How do you go about finding the heart?”
Aracelis Girmay talks with Elizabeth Acevedo about poetry, discovery, and grief. (Poetry and Literature Center at the Library of Congress)
"Antidotes to the underrepresentation of minority poets"
Rigoberto González on prize-winning debut collections by Laurie Ann Guerrero, Matthew Olzmann, and L. Lamar Wilson. (Los Angeles Review of Books)
• From L. Lamar Wilson's Sacrilegion: "Times Like These: Marianna, Florida"
Recently Arrived Titles
These just in... Highlighted titles may be purchased from Poetry Daily / Amazon.com. A complete list of all books and journals recently received at Poetry Daily is also available.
- Belmont, Stephen Burt (Graywolf Press)
- September, Rachel Jamison Webster (TriQuarterly Books)
- Thresherphobe, Mark Halliday (University of Chicago Press)
- The Narrow Circle, Nathan Hoks (Penguin)
- The Big Smoke, Adrian Matejka (Penguin)
- The Late Parade, Adam Fitzgerald (Liveright)
- The Fabliaux, Nathaniel E. Dubin, tr. (Liveright)
- The Venice Suite: A Voyage Through Loss, Dermot Bolger (New Island)
- Brief Nudity, Larry O. Dean (Salmon Poetry)
- Moth; or how I came to be with you again, Thomas Heise (Sarabande Books)
- Shadows and Starlight, John Knoepfle (Indian Paintbrush Poets)
- The Awkward Poses of Others, Robert E. Wood (WordTech Editions)
- What Bends Us Blue, Tom Lombardo (WordTech Editions)
- Epiphanies, Kim Bridgford (David Robert Books)
- Spilled Milk, Grey Held (Word Press)
- Waiting for Grace & Other Poems, Christopher Locke (Turning Point)
- The Evolutionary Purpose of Heartbreak, Joanne Harris Allred (Turning Point)
- Love Reports to Spring Training, Linda Kittell (Turning Point)
- & it had rained, Veronica Patterson (CW Books)
- In the White Room, Elizabeth McLagan (CW Books)
- My Father Was a Poet, Lester Graves Lennon (CW Books)
- Barn Sour, Kathleen M. McCann (Cherry Grove Collections)
Original articles, interviews, selections from special collections and journal issues, and more are available in the Archives.