In early April, the Paris Review hosted two lunchtime recording sessions at Salon's New York office in celebration of National Poetry Month. Eight poets read work that had first appeared in the review.
Rachel Wetzsteon is the author of two collections of poetry: "The Other Stars," which won the 1993 National Poetry Series, and "Home and Away." The title poem of her second collection appeared in Issue 143 of the Paris Review.
David Yezzi's chapbook "Sad Is Eros" is forthcoming later this year. He is an associate editor of Parnassus: Poetry in Review. "Upon Julia's Breasts" appeared in Issue 154 of the Paris Review as part of "Pomework: An Exercise in Occasional Poetry." Poets were given eight titles -- taken from movies ("Jaws," "Dr. Strangelove"), classic poems ("Upon Julia's Breasts," "The English Are So Nice") and flights of fancy ("A Lavatory in a Cathedral," "Lines to Seduce a Stranger an Hour Before the Ship Sails") -- and asked to write a poem to fit one of them. Any form of verse was urged; there were no rules.
While a few poets sent back return postcards voicing dismay ("frivolous!"), many more reveled in the assignment. Charles Wright wrote two poems, and Albert Goldbarth used all of the titles in a single poem. For other contributions to "Pomework," please visit the Paris Review Web site.
Max Winter is the poetry editor of Fence. His poems have appeared in the New Republic and the Yale Review. "Apocrypha" appeared in Issue 154 of the Paris Review.
Visit the Paris Review Web site for information on upcoming issues, how to subscribe and more.
Photo credit [David Yezzi]: Nola Tully