Blunt memos and elliptical effacements: Collier Nogues’s “The Ground I Stand on Is Not My Ground”

In these erasure poems, Collier Nogues presents oblique, redolent lines that contain and complicate the ghostlike traces left behind from original historical documents. Nogues has created a beautiful, haunting piece of work with The Ground I Stand on Is Not My Ground, winner of the inaugural Drunken Boat Poetry Book Contest. You can read Nogues’sContinue reading “Blunt memos and elliptical effacements: Collier Nogues’s “The Ground I Stand on Is Not My Ground””

Memoir, Travelogue, and Lyric: Raymond M. Wong’s “I’m Not Chinese”

 The first thing you need to know is that I’m not Chinese. My name is Raymond Wong and I stopped being Chinese at the age of five. And so begins Raymond Wong’s touching account of his own coming of age as a Chinese American. I’m Not Chinese is part memoir, part travelogue, part lyric essay, andContinue reading “Memoir, Travelogue, and Lyric: Raymond M. Wong’s “I’m Not Chinese””

Dickinsonian, Delphic, and Dreamlike: Kathryn Levy’s “Reports”

In her collection of poems, Reports (New Rivers Press, 2013), Kathryn Levy presents a distillation of hurt, regret, and wonder. This is verse that eschews sentiment. These poems toss aside pat notions of speaker and story, offering up instead imperative, Delphic pronouncements in clipped, syncopated lines that exhibit a charged urgency. Reports reads like telegraphic shorthand: IContinue reading “Dickinsonian, Delphic, and Dreamlike: Kathryn Levy’s “Reports””