Monthly Archives: November 2011

Reflection on Oliver de la Paz’s Requiem for the Orchard

An Important Announcement on Plagiarism

Oliver de la Paz’s collection, Requiem for the Orchard, relies on two organizing threads throughout. Those are the “Requiem” poems, which originally appeared as one extended poem in Guernica Magazine, and the “Self-Portrait” poems which appeared in various places. De la Paz confronts the construction and obfuscation of identity and self through these two threads of interrogation, and it is important that the collection resolves with the two threads together. Continue reading

Reflection on Into These Knots

An Important Announcement

            How does one write poetry about grief, or heartache? Allen Ginsburg’s “Howl” and “Kaddish” might be one approach, but it is a rare poet who can operate in the verse-libre and still convey the absolute misery without devolving into melodrama. Many poets resort to form, which forces a constraint upon poems. In the case of Ashley Anna McHugh, the constraint of form has allowed her to explore loss in great detail. Continue reading

An Important Announcement

I added this in the sidebar pages, but I want to be sure that it’s seen. A link will also go at the top of each new post, just for my own comfort.

I hate to have to do this. Really, I do. However:

Recently, I have noticed that I am receiving searches based on some of the titles I have reflected on. One in particular caught my attention:

is represented by the nostalgia with which she writes about the various food obsessions she had as a child. as many american writers, nguyen writes about her obsession and her family, creating a space in the literary tradition for her multivalent

This quote comes from the reflection on Bich Minh Nguyen’s Stealing Buddha’s Dinner. What this shows me is that there is someone out there (probably for a class of some sort) who copied a significant portion of the text of that reflection (and, in fact, the thesis of that reflection), and his or her professor is checking up on the work turned in.

Some things to keep in mind:

  1. The work on Poetic Idealism is original and mine.
  2. Many of these have been turned in as assignments for various graduate English courses.
  3. The entries are not necessarily of the standard to be used as sources for academic papers (though I’m honored if you think so).
  4. If you take a chunk of text and do not cite it, that is plagiarism.
  5. YOU WILL GET CAUGHT. It’s a simple Google search, don’t be dumb.

Just keep these in mind if you are looking for sources for some high school or college paper.

Reflection on Ching-In Chen’s The Heart’s Traffic

As other secondgeneration immigrant writers, Chin-In Chen addresses the American experience from a position of both belonging and not-belonging, which is clearly evident in her collection The Heart’s Traffic. The collection crosses embodies boundary-crossing beyond the typical use of plot (though that is present as well), and results in a comingled impression of life from the perspective of an immigrant and her family. As with many poetry collections, the evidence of the collection’s conceptual identity (in this case, border-crossing and existing in multiple realities concurrently) presents initially with the cover of the book. However, the reader will notice quickly that Chen’s collection follows through with these concepts in nearly every poem. Continue reading

What Makes for a Successful Literary Submission?

So many submissions come in to the literary magazine I help staff – a relatively new literary magazine – that examining the framework of a “successful submission” becomes a lesson in self-reflection. From my experience working on various literary journals, the submissions that find a way through the editorial process have similar characteristics, even though the journal, the editors, and the submissions may be vastly different. For the most part, this framework can relate across different literary journals with different scopes as well. At the broadest level, I see the framework resting upon awareness. Continue reading

A Short Reflection on Laura Kasischke’s “Space, in Chains”

Even the cover reflects the contents of Kasischke’s poetry collection.  Both the title – Space, in Chains – and the Rothko abstraction on the front point at the nearly ungraspable poems in between the covers.  But the reasoning behind the ungraspable-ness may be the ungraspable subjects and themes Kasischke meditates on through these poems.  That is, the poet approaches and interrogates the unknowable, and attempts to enlighten through the medium of abstracted understanding.  Continue reading