Tag Archives: Hick Poetics

Meg Wade on Jim Harrison and Recognizing Displacement

“All of my life I’ve held myself
/ at an undisclosed location.” The opening lines from Jim Harrison’s, “L’envoi” nestle themselves inside me. They burrow up from the ground, a distant bellow from a person I long forgot I was. I … Continue reading

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Meg Wade on TC Tolbert and voice

Photo Credit: Mamta Popat I am forever in awe of TC Tolbert. The way his work swings the body back to life on the page, the way his language sings me home. TC went to elementary school just down the … Continue reading

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Movement & Voice in Mara Vahratian’s “In this great wide country” with K.B. McElhatten

In Mara Vahratian’s Hicks Poetics statement, she claims her poetry is  “built around movement.”  She wants her poems “to move and stall and be expansive and subjective and feel lived-in and new.” This is a promise on which Vahratian repeatedly … Continue reading

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Bardos, Attachment, Ego and singleton’s “Day 21” by K.B. McElhatten

“Day 21” is one of 49 poems that giovanni singleton writes about Alice Coltrane’s journey through bardo, the Buddhist transition from one life to the next. The purpose of which is to provide an opportunity for enlightenment or to assure … Continue reading

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On Violence and Vulnerability in Carolyn Hembree’s “Pig” with K.B. McElhatten

When writing about “Pig,” it’s hard to use the words enjoy, like, or favoritelines. The poem makes me uncomfortable and uneasy, and the violence of it makes these words feel wrong. Instead, I will use the word amaze. What amazes … Continue reading

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Kim McElhatten on Mark Wunderlich and home

The lines in Mark Wunderlich’s poem, “Driftless Elegy” remind me of home, of Northwest Pennsylvania. They remind me of the bridges shut over French Creek, the now-closed Golden Dawn grocery, the condemned Meadville mall, the outsourced Talon Factory, and the … Continue reading

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Travis Lane Wade on Michael Sikkema and layers

In Michael Sikkema’s poem, “Code Over Code,” imagery layers structural decay with a tone that communicates both feelings of restlessness and confinement. Sikkema writes: Approaching from three sides one wind one edge of house torn blue. Music comes     … Continue reading

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Travis Lane Wade on Ander Monson and belonging

In Ander Monson’s poem, “KNOW YOUR LAKE EFFECT,” the concept of memory and identity (in this case with regards to Michigan) raises the question of whether we truly belong to a place and time. Monson writes: To drink of and … Continue reading

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Travis Lane Wade on Kristi Maxwell and dualism

In Kristi Maxwell’s poem, “TO KEEPING WE DID NOT FORGET,” the imagery of a field conveys a tone of desolation found in between light and dark or day and night. Maxwell writes: A small fire stuns the field within cinder … Continue reading

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Travis Lane Wade on Maurice Manning’s poem “Culture”

In Maurice Manning’s poem, “Culture,” the balance of simplicity and complexity of a rural, small town setting is explored though the opening lines: Some of us in cahoots with the birds are smiling, silly smiles, because the sun in the … Continue reading

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