Tag Archives: power of language

Public Uses of Poetry: Two AML Proposals

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I submitted two proposals for this year’s AML Conference, both poetry-centered, of course. Here they are: Proposal 1: Live Poetry Anthology: Mormon Poets Read (Two full sessions) Based on the success of the two poetry reading panels I organized for last year’s AML Conference, I approached my poet friends to see if there was any interest in organizing more readings… Read more »

“This Guy Can Walk on Anything”: Dayna Patterson’s “Our Lord Jesus in Drag”

Poet Highlight: Dayna Patterson, “Our Lord Jesus in Drag” In my sonnet “On Crucifixion by J. Kirk Richards,” I use the practice of cross-dressing as an analogue for Christ condescending from godhood to put on mortality: “When God cross-dresses in death,” I say, “does / the universe blush?” In her poem, “Our Lord Jesus in Drag,” Dayna also offers a… Read more »

Poetry of the Void: Melissa Dalton-Bradford’s “House for Rent”

Anthology Poet Highlight 44/82: Melissa Dalton-Bradford, “House for Rent” (Scroll down, both there and here) Language came to me deeply when my paternal grandfather started to decline, when his body began to give in to the detritus of age, when I was faced with his loss. I’ve noted elsewhere that “our words, we hope, will ward off death. Looking into… Read more »

Seeing through the Other’s “I”: Robert Rees’ “Blind Tears”

Poet Highlight: Robert A. Rees, “Blind Tears” In “Blind Tears” Robert A. Rees becomes a mother in Cambodia. Speaking from her “I,” he strives to put on this fictive woman’s skin, to walk in her shoes, to see the world through her eyes and thus to connect with her and her world in a very personal way. This effort requires… Read more »

Giving the Beauty of Holiness a Tongue (Part Two)

Giving the Beauty of Holiness a Tongue: A Review Essay on Adam’s Dream: Poems for a Latter Day by Doug Talley (Part Two) (Read Part One here) III. Adam’s Dream is divided into four sections: “Land within Arm’s Reach,” “Temples Framed by Hand,” “Voices from Another Room,” and “Flowers of a Kiss.” Each section contains eighteen poems and is framed… Read more »

Giving the Beauty of Holiness a Tongue (Part One)

Giving the Beauty of Holiness a Tongue: A Review Essay on Adam’s Dream: Poems for a Latter Day by Doug Talley (Part One)* I. During the fourth month of my wife’s first pregnancy, she started spotting. Startled by her yell from the bathroom where she’d been getting ready for work, I ran from the kitchen and met her halfway down… Read more »

Claire Åkebrand: October is Plush, but Only Fleetingly So

Anthology Poet Highlight 42/82: Claire Åkebrand, “October Plush” (scroll down) Like the violet at its center, the texture of Claire’s “October Plush” is lush, but only fleetingly so. The poet runs her words like fingers over the flower’s petals, pausing in her passing by to notice the beauty of the transient subject at her feet. For although the violet can’t… Read more »

The Taste of Gideon Burton’s “Salt and Blood”

Anthology Poet Highlight 37/82: Gideon Burton, “Salt and Blood” [Audio clip: view full post to listen] (My reading of “Salt and Blood”) I like the taste of “Salt and Blood.” No, I don’t live in a coven or avoid sunlight and, although I do like potato chips, NaCl isn’t really my thing. Nonetheless, Gideon’s “Salt and Blood” makes my lyric… Read more »

Rhetorics of Grace in Sunni Wilkinson’s “Acrobats”

Anthology Poet Highlight 34/82: Sunni Brown Wilkinson, “Acrobats” (scroll down) “Acrobats” explores rhetorics of grace. It contrasts the simple and scripted made-for-TV “piety”—an easily imitated and consumed brand commodified and encouraged by the (early morning? early afternoon?) televangelist—with the speaker’s own halting attempts to “awaken [her] faith” to something beyond play-acting, beyond miming the preacher “in front of the mirror.” The… Read more »

“This Was When”: Matthew James Babcock’s “Moose Remembered”

"Moose in the Neighbor's Yard"

Anthology Poet Highlight 33/82: Matthew James Babcock, “Moose Remembered” (scroll down) [Audio clip: view full post to listen] (Matthew’s reading of “Moose Remembered” [from Terrain.org]) This poem features a moose, but it’s about memory: the redemption of past experience. “This was when,” the poet begins, speaking to his wife, I presume, about a Saturday morning earlier in their marriage when… Read more »