Charles Simic has been Poet Laureate of the United States. His new book, Scribbled in the Dark, a volume of poetry, will be published in June.
 (June 2017)


A Voice for the Voiceless

Philip Levine, New York City, September 1995; photograph by Jill Krementz

The Last Shift

by Philip Levine, edited by Edward Hirsch

My Lost Poets: A Life in Poetry

by Philip Levine, edited by Edward Hirsch
“Nothing epic,” Philip Levine said of his own poems. “Just the small heroics of getting through the day when the day doesn’t give a shit, getting through the world with as much dignity as you can pull together from the tiny resources left to you.”

In the Snow

Tracks of someone lost, Bleakly preoccupied, Meandering blindly In these here woods, Licking his wounds And crunching the snow As he trudges on, Bereft and baffled, In mounting terror With no way out, Jinxed at every …

Must Lerner Connect?

Ben Lerner, Sanibel Island, Florida, December 2016

The Hatred of Poetry

by Ben Lerner
Don’t let the boy just loaf about; If he writes verses, kick him out. —Martial (c. 40–c. 103) Poetry has been around forever. It predates literacy and perhaps even the gods, who, some say, were invented by poets. There are so many types of poems, ranging from the epic …

Inexhaustible & Brilliant

James Tate at the Grolier Poetry Book Shop, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1965

Dome of the Hidden Pavilion: New Poems

by James Tate
James Tate, who died the summer before last at the age of seventy-one, after being in poor health for many years, was one of the most prolific and admired American poets from the time his first book of poems, The Lost Pilot (1967), was selected for the Yale Series of …


The Age of Total Lies

Vesna Pešić: Taking over the problems of immigration and terrorism, right-wing politicians promised to “protect” citizens by spreading xenophobia, fear, and nationalism. They have risen to power by presenting themselves as the guardians of an abandoned working class, making appeals to nationalism and patriotic selfishness, and promising to kick the immigrants out.

Dizzy in the Daylight

In Jim Marshall’s Jazz Festival, we see dozens of the greats, musicians who made their names playing radically different kinds of music, performing or being caught by the camera schmoozing backstage between sets and enjoying each other’s company. Marshall had no idea while snapping these pictures, of course, that he was compiling a record of a vanished world, an America even more remote from us today than the one of the rock musicians and their fans that he covered in later years.

Expendable America

Harlan County, Cumberland, Kentucky, 2015

All of us who are familiar with rural areas and former industrial towns in this country know the impoverishment and hopelessness of many men and women who live there. Understandably, they are angry. These unfortunates, who’ve been cheated and swindled by bosses, mortgage banks, and both political parties, have put all their hopes in a billionaire who has a long record of not paying taxes, cheating his workers and contractors out of their pay, and seemingly using his own “charitable” foundation as a slush fund. They voted for a buffoon who doesn’t care whether they live or die.