Essays

Some Questions About First Novels

The history of the novel is also the history of people coming into an understanding of themselves, of the ways in which we use art not only to reflect but also to change ourselves.

Kingdoms of the Border

The world described by Herrera’s thematic border trilogy is a present that despite—or because—of its hints of the archaic, has the ring of a dystopian near-future.

While reading “Sea Unicorns and Land Unicorns”

The doubled reality of one Marianne Moore poem

Frank O’Hara’s Notorious B.I.G.

The affinities between New York’s most mercurial lyricists.

Poetry of Negation and the Negation of Poetry: Dissidence and form in Vietnamese poetry

Dissident poetry resonates against oppression, advocates for democracy, reveals previously undisclosed information, and attacks (the dogma of) traditional values associated with state power.

No One Promised Us Anything: Poetry in Mexico City

The act of climbing a platform and reading poetry in the street is part of the literary transformation that’s arisen in Mexico City. Poets no longer seek closed spaces where only their acquaintances attend to pat them on the back as an institutionalized greeting.

Against a Beige Vision

Oakland, poetry, and radical empathy.

Final Words

On reading and writing books in two centuries.

Consumption of Culture as Politics

In Mexico, state-sponsored films allow symbolic critique to supplant structural change.

Begging for Utopia

A typology of the beggar in Western culture.