We are a public forum committed to collective reasoning and the imagination of a more just world. Join today to help us keep the discussion of ideas free and open to everyone, and enjoy member benefits like our quarterly books.
Mark Twain, in a note to the London office of the New York Herald
Think of it as a fault-line fantasy
that gets dressed up in mauve and black
and latches on to certain people–
figures who excite debate, at least.
Mark had popularity going for him.
He wrote like a champ and was a nice guy
off the court as well. You could always count
on an aerial view of the subject,
whatever subject, and end up knowing
more than you had before liftoff.
He'd fling open a door to the neat four-room
treehouse of his heart and let you in,
despite palpable risk to circulation,
not to mention loss of privacy.
Still, it moved, and the orbit that everyone
expected to be reading any day now
kept on not appearing, it just wouldn't.
(Apparently I'm supposed to spell out
the sequel, but, sorry, this topic has already
terminated–no, seriously, I mean it.)
Alfred Corn’s tenth book of poems, Tables, appeared in January 2013. He has also published a novel, Part of His Story; two collections of essays; and a study of prosody. Prizes for his work as a poet include the Guggenheim fellowship, the NEA, an Award in Literature from the Academy of Arts and Letters, and one from the Academy of American Poets. He has taught creative writing at Yale, Columbia, and UCLA. In 2011 Pentameters Theatre in London staged his play Lowell’s Bedlam, and in 2013 he was made a Life Fellow of Clare Hall, University of Cambridge, where he worked on a translation of Rilke’s Duino Elegies. This year Barrow Street Press will publish a volume of poems titled Unions, and Eyewear will publish his second novel, Miranda’s Book.
Vital reading on politics, literature, and more in your inbox. Sign up for our Weekly Newsletter, Monthly Roundup, and event notifications.
In her new book, Danish poet Olga Ravn writes with open love, pity, and compassion for her strange yet familiar creations.
Draconian individual punishment distracts from systemic change and reinforces the cruelest and most racist system of incarceration on the planet.
Our well-being depends on a better understanding of how the logic of labor has twisted our relationship with pleasure.