poems

The power of surrender

I live a double life as a poet and a yoga instructor. It’s a curious intersection. The forms are different, but the process surprisingly similar: shedding the unnecessary to find the essential.

There’s a lot of unnecessary to surrender.

In yoga training, there is continuous undoing, from the narrowed brow to the tightened shoulders, held breath, and barricades throughout the body. If we don’t undo these tensions, we train them into the positions we are relentlessly practicing...

The North American Review would like to wish everyone a very special Happy Halloween Weekend. Today we have a poem featured by Anne Barngrover from issue 300.4, Fall 2015.

ventura

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Our Baroque Sustenance by Dan Chelotti

When I was learning how to let poems be poems, I had meaning difficulties. As we learn to read poetry, this is a big problem: the facts shroud us from the mystery of the subject. Students often cry: “if I could only put a little bow on every little fact about poetry, compartmentalize them away into storage, and pull them out the next time I need to write a term paper.” But, alas, poems don’t like to be put into storage. Poems want to be draped over every living thing, and then they...

I was in an online poetry boot camp and had a few hours to come up with that Tuesday poem. Everything I had written that day stunk like raw fish baking on a dry dock. I overheard my children discussing their favorite movies at the time. My oldest said “Little Mermaid” and my middle said “Sleeping Beauty” and my youngest said “Snow White.” When I asked my youngest why, she said the wicked stepmother had the best laugh. And a poem was born.

Devi Sen Laskar's poem first appeared in...

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I will start with all the history I can said in as few words as possible… this poem came on the last day of a...

Jeanne Emmons's poem "Polio Water in 1955" was the James Hearst Poetry Prize winner in issue 291.2, Spring 2006.

Notes from the author:

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I always have good intentions when I start writing poetry. It all begins nicely—all naturalist, homespun vignettes on Beatrix Potter-esque subjects—purple finches and green linnets chit-chattering on telephone wires about weather forecasts and sky map coordinates. Beneath the wires, a red fox slinks through gnarled, twiggy underbrush. A shaggy-haired goat forages in the vernal, peaceful glen.

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Michael Spence discusses perseverance throughout his career and the success it brought him, and ultimately what he learned from Carol Channing. He last appeared in the North American Review with his poem "Consensus" in issue 298.2, Spring 2013. He also discusses "Consensus" in an...

"Funerals in the South" first appeared in issue 293.2, March-April 2008. It was a finalist in the James Hearst Poetry Prize in 2008.

DVD 731 GRIEF FOOD . (Mobile Register, John David Mercer) LIVING RELIGION

Funerals in the South...

Thirteen years since I started teaching my Creative Writing class at Douglas County Jail just outside Lawrence, Kansas.  Thirteen years, hundreds of classes, thousands of inmates in my class over the years.

I’ve taught for over twenty years at the University of Kansas.  I’ve taught in France, Senegal, Zambia, Japan and England.  But there’s no doubt at all that my writing class at Douglas County Jail has been the best teaching experience of my life.

I was there again on...

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