'By Nightfall' by Michael Cunningham

In her poem “The Book,” Mary Oliver writes, of lilies in a neighbor’s yard: You could not help but see that to be beautiful is also to be simple and brief; is to rise up and be glorious, and then vanish. I thought of these lines while reading Michael Cunningham’s new book, By Nightfall, a… read more

'The More I Owe You' by Michael Sledge

It’s no knock on Elizabeth Bishop’s poetry that people appear more interested in the story of her life than in the glory of her verses. She was far from prolific, publishing fewer than 100 poems in her 68 years, and she led a fascinating life. She exchanged decades’ worth of letters with America’s finest poets,… read more

'Ties That Bind' by Sarah Schulman

Lambda Award Finalist On the opening page of The Mere Future, the narrator declares, “People can get court orders to keep communication from happening, why can’t we get court orders to sit down and talk it through? That would be my idea of a better world.” In many ways, this is the notion at the… read more

'The Mere Future' by Sarah Schulman

“Prolific” is almost a default description of Sarah Schulman, the author of 13 books, numerous plays, and a significant body of journalism, and yet between 1998 and 2007, no one would publish her work. Thank goodness—though as Schulman reminds us in her latest book, goodness has nothing to do with it—the products of those wilderness… read more