All posts filed under: Commentary

The latest features, essays, interviews from our contributing writers and editors.

Interview // “Speech Crush”: A Conversation with Sandra McPherson

by Nan Cohen | Contributing Writer Sandra McPherson’s first published poems appeared in Poetry Northwest in the Autumn, 1965, issue, edited by Carolyn Kizer. Since then, she has moved from Seattle, where she studied with Elizabeth Bishop and David Wagoner, to Portland, Oregon, and then to northern California, where she taught creative writing and literature at the University of California, Davis, from 1985 until her retirement. Her books include The Year of Our Birth, The Spaces Between Birds: Mother-Daughter Poems, and The 5150 Poems. Her honors and awards include fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Guggenheim Foundation, and her work was also featured in the Bill Moyers PBS series The Language of Life. In 1999, she founded Swan Scythe Press, which still publishes poetry chapbooks. Her twenty-second full-length collection of poems, Speech Crush, was published in late 2022 in the California Poets Series of Gunpowder Press in Santa Barbara. She lives in Davis, California. This interview was conducted over e-mail in January and February 2023. * Nan Cohen (NC): I’d love …

An Empire Elsewhere

Ceballos captures the violent reality oppressed and exploited people face due to U.S. involvement in their home country’s economy and politics that force them to eventually leave. Through elegies, we’re made aware of the horrors they face after fleeing to the U.S.

Interview // “Shapeshifting, Flawed Mediums, and Wolves”: A Conversation with Jessica Q. Stark 

“I’m fascinated in thinking about money as an apparition whose haunting drives earthly creatures to do the silliest of actions, to become the strangest renditions of oneself. Every single person I know, including myself, is haunted by this not-love, this not-woods. I’m just trying not to feel hungry anymore for this kind of haunting, which begins to feel like a part of one’s skin.” —Jessica Q. Stark