4 Poets in Prairie Schooner

Posted by on 25 06 14 in Poetry | 0 comments

Prairie Schooner, first published in 1926, is a literary journal issued quarterly at the University of Nebraska Lincoln. It publishes writers from across the States, and indeed the world, which makes it difficult to understand why, in recent years, so much of its poetry has descended to well-meaning amateurism. Readers who disagree may do their own reading, of course, but I review here a few poems that seem a little better. Making Lunch (http://prairieschooner.unl.edu/?q=excerpt/making-lunch) is a simple descriptive piece by Joseph Millar where the author, looking out on a bleak winter scene, conjures up the warm Mediterranean world inherent in what he’s eating: I spread out the mustard like a gold map over the slabs of rye Then follows (I summarize to avoid infringing copyright) mozzarella, tomatoes, grapes and olives, and a sunlit countryside: where children run barefoot chasing...

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5 Poets in the Poetry Review

Posted by on 16 06 14 in Poetry | 0 comments

The¬†Poetry Review is the journal of the Poetry Society, the representative of the poetry establishment in England. The Society was founded in 1909 and today has nearly 4,000 members worldwide. Like all such charitable organizations, the Society is much involved in education, readings, competitions, and of course the promotion of poets and poetry in England. The Review is published in paper form quarterly, and the website also provides free pdf downloads of a small number of the featured poems, from which I have made these selections. The printed journal no doubt gives their authors’ biographies and credits. As far one can tell from the selections, PR poems are accomplished, undemonstrative and carefully crafted in a free verse fashion. That conservatism is not necessarily a criticism: indeed what’s praiseworthy is the ‘honesty’ of the pieces, their reluctance to gain more...

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Poetry Ireland

Posted by on 9 06 14 in Poetry | 0 comments

Poetry Ireland is one of those increasingly rare things, a magazine with a distinctive local voice, where the richness of language and an exuberant delight in literary echoes could have hardly come from anywhere else.  With that identity comes limitations, of course. So similar are the poems by the 16 contributors to Issue 30 Рdiscursive, depicting with almost eidetic precision what the eye takes in of the contemporary Irish scene Рthat they could all emanate from the same pen. Poetry Ireland is dedicated to serving poetry throughout Ireland, and sponsors publications, readings, education and poetry. The poems published on the website today tend to be somewhat discursive, but not prosy: the lines have individual shape and employ a diction rich with literary echoes. When poems fail, the common reasons are language whose exuberance serves no end beyond...

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