Z e t e o
Reading, Looking, Listening, . . . Questioning
books, reading

Fantasy has it rough. It bears a reputation of being trivial, flashy, adolescent, and entertainment-driven. Indeed, some fantasy is. But, such a judgment is unfair to good fantasy, which is none of the above. Because fantasy is so blatantly allegorical, when it is good, it reveals a forthright understanding of how reality functions. And, when it is great, it resembles myth, with […]

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Of course, [pornography and poetry] probably benefit [from the Internet] for different reasons: pornography because people really want it a lot but are embarrassed to go get it in person; poetry because people don’t want it that much, so it helps if they can get it for free without ever even leaving their desk chairs. […]

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Poems can sometimes behave like short stories, like very short stories. They set the scene, bring the reader in and then leave them with an uncertain longing. In just fifteen lines, the poem below tells the story of two couples, of neighbors, of marriage, of winter. The title lets the reader know what to expect […]

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Juan Felipe Herrera’s story is a nice one. Born in California in 1948, he grew up picking crops with his migrant worker parents in the San Joaquin and Salinas Valleys.  After graduating from San Diego High School, Herrera went on to complete degrees at UCLA, Stanford and the prestigious University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop. He has […]

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There is an undocumented age crisis that occurs in the early thirties. Indeed, the onset of this decade might mark the actual “coming of age.” Eighteen is still shrouded by the incredulous, protective shield of childhood, as is any age before twenty nine. But thirty-three is different. It is lucid and stunned and dismayed at […]

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A friend recently sent me an upbeat, effortless Lawrence Ferlinghetti (b. 1919) poem that I immediately liked. And then immediately didn’t know if I liked. The poem is from Ferlinghetti’s record-breaking “A Coney Island State of Mind,” which was published in 1955 and sold over a million copies in nine different languages.  The poet’s life story is worth reading. He is […]

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Several years ago, British poet John Fuller wrote a poem with a bright future as a chart-topping pop song.  Perhaps its catchy flow is due to the fact that it’s a strict villanelle, or perhaps it’s due to the fact that the poem is about unrequited, but not tortured, love. There’s just enough heartache to make […]

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Brooklyn Copeland is a young, prolific poet who has published individual poems in venues like Poetry Magazine and The New York Times. She also has several chapbooks and  full length poetry collections available. As readily available as her work is online to peruse, I found it hard to pin down. “Self-conscious” is definitely a word […]

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poetry

Rita Dove was named Poet Laureate of the United States in 1993 when she was just forty years old. By then, though, she had written a few novels and several collections of poetry, including Thomas and Beulah (1986), which won the Pulitzer Prize. The poem below is not an example of how Dove confronts complex historical […]

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caffe reggio

The other day, I read a poem whose beginning I didn’t quite like. But, it was weird enough to keep me hooked to its very last line, which made me laugh out loud and reread the poem several times, appreciating it more and more with each go. The piece is by poet Paul Violi, who published eleven […]

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  Not many young adult authors launch their novels with a poem, much less a two-page piece that transcends their target demographic. So I was surprised to find the poem below on the very first page of bestselling YA author Sarah Dessen‘s novel “That Summer.” The poem is by South Carolina author Dannye Romine Powell, an […]

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Categories: Essay | Add a Comment
Frank Kermode, August 2000, photo by Charlie MacDonald

  Not many young adult authors launch their novels with a poem, much less a two-page piece that transcends their target demographic. So I was surprised to find the poem below on the very first page of bestselling YA author Sarah Dessen‘s novel “That Summer.” The poem is by South Carolina author Dannye Romine Powell, an […]

Essay

June 14, 2018

The time that takes place in stories compared to the time that we actually live is radically abbreviated. It briskly sweeps aside all the commonplace moments that make up the long stretch of toilsome time and focuses instead on the interesting and compelling. With a mere section break or a simple transitional phrase, days, months, and whole years are disposed of as if they had no significance at all. “Then time passed slowly until the day arrived when….” A lot of important living is hidden in such a phrase. From the moment-to-moment flow of time, the storyteller lifts out only those narr...

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Categories: Essay | Add a Comment
Frank Kermode, August 2000, photo by Charlie MacDonald

  Not many young adult authors launch their novels with a poem, much less a two-page piece that transcends their target demographic. So I was surprised to find the poem below on the very first page of bestselling YA author Sarah Dessen‘s novel “That Summer.” The poem is by South Carolina author Dannye Romine Powell, an […]

Essay

May 11, 2018

Using personal essay, literary reference, and journalistic voice, the article plants itself on our existential doorstep while illuminating Barnes' novel one more time. Very strong. Thanks.

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Categories: Essay | Add a Comment
Frank Kermode, August 2000, photo by Charlie MacDonald

  Not many young adult authors launch their novels with a poem, much less a two-page piece that transcends their target demographic. So I was surprised to find the poem below on the very first page of bestselling YA author Sarah Dessen‘s novel “That Summer.” The poem is by South Carolina author Dannye Romine Powell, an […]

Essay

May 10, 2018

"When these new memories suddenly came upon me … time had been placed in reverse. As if, for that moment, the river ran upstream." Stolen from Barnes's book for my poem "From the Vale for a Soul Making". Great book to write about.

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