'Sweet Core Orchard' by Benjamin Grossberg

Benjamin Grossberg’s second collection of poems is a book about writing—about writing’s processes and demands and possibilities.  The volume tends towards contemplations of contemplation, and its best, it’s riveting.  The book opens “Always the script, the dramatic comma,/ the pointed ellipsis, half turn, beat, the exit/ itself as punctuation.  Let’s say the back wall/ of the house fell… read more

'Please' by Jericho Brown

Brown is a generous writer—he never forgets his audience, never turns his back or forgets that you’ve paid your admission.  He starts by explaining himself, opening the collection with an ars poetica, “Track 1: Lush Life.”  It begins, “The woman with the microphone sings to hurt you” (7).   Like one of Dante’s tormented, he has… read more