Archive / 1990-1999

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Arnold, Craig 1999

Wednesday, November 10, 1999
with Brigit Pegeen Kelly and Talvikki Ansel


Teach me a fruit of your
country I asked and so you dipped
into a shop and in your hand
held me a thick yellow pinecone

– Craig Arnold, “Pitahaya”

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Watch Craig Arnold read his poem, “Incubus,” from University of Wyoming Television:

Craig Arnold reads Incubus

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You have towered here
leaning half over the wall
all my awareness

– Craig Arnold, “Mulberry”

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Read this interview from McSweeney’s with Arnold’s partner Rebecca Lindenberg, about the book she wrote after Arnold’s disappearance and death:

A McSweeney’s Books Q&A with Rebecca Lindenberg, author of Love, an Index

A man disappears. The woman who loves him continues to see him him everywhere, even after she knows he can never return. In her fierce, one-of-a-ki…

More info on Craig Arnold⇒

Ansel, Talvikki 1999

Wednesday, November 10, 1999
with Brigit Pegeen Kelly and Craig Arnold


it’s iron, the bottle
crouched on its white pedestal,
long beak spout and wide open handle
you could see starry sky through.

– Talvikki Ansel, “Don’t Tell Me”

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Read this interview with Talvikki Ansel from The Journal Mag:

Interview with Talvikki Ansel – The Journal

Talvikki Ansel is the author of the poetry collections My Shining Archipelago (1997) and Jetty and Other Poems (2003). She is the recipient of the Yale Series of Younger Poets prize and is the 2014 winner of The OSU Press/ The Journal Wheeler Prize in Poetry for her collection Somewhere in Space.

Slippage time, sky darker
than yesterday,
cold snap forecasted,
a gray screen over the river
and the old fort, ice chunks.

– Talvikki Ansel, “Valentine’s”

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Listen to Talvikki Ansel read her poem, “World,” on The Atlantic:

The Atlantic | July/August 2001 | World | Talvikki Ansel

World by Talvikki Ansel

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Hall, Donald 1999

Wednesday, May 12, 1999


December, nightfall at three-thirty.
I climb Mill Hill
past hawthorne and wild cherry,
mist in the hedgerows.
Smoke blows
from the orange edges of fire
working the wheat
stubble. “Putting
the goodness back,
into the soil.”

– Donald Hall, “Swan”

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Read this interview with Donald Hall from the Paris Review:

The Art of Poetry No. 43

Donald Hall was born in New Haven and raised in Hamden, Connecticut, but spent summers, holidays, and school vacations on a farm owned by his maternal grandparents in Wilmot, New Hampshire. He took his bachelor’s degree at Harvard, then studied at Oxford for two years, earning an add…

She was all around me
like a rainy day,
and though I walked bareheaded
I was not wet. I walked
on a bare path
singing light songs
about women.

– Donald Hall, “The Blue Wing”

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Watch Donald Hall discuss and read from his work:

Former National Poet Laureate Donald Hall recites his poetry, talks of his life

Former poet laureate Donald Hall talks with fellow poet Elizabeth Spires about what sparked his writing as a young man (movies like “Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein”), his wild times with poets like Robert Bly at Harvard, and his return to his grandparents’ farm with wife and poet Jane Kenyon.

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Tate, Marvin 1999

she wants to reclaim her body
change it back to its original shape
like when she danced, you know she use
to dance, in the middle of a drum circle

– Marvin Tate, “Blue eggs for a blue poet”

Broadside of "Blue eggs for a blue poet" by Marvin Tate

Broadside of “Blue eggs for a blue poet” by Marvin Tate

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Read this article about Marvin Tate from the Chicago Tribune:

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I am the dark and ominous tower
your greenless, infertile backyard
the unsightly vista that you view
each morning, from your high rise
curtainless, kitchenette windows.

– Marvin Tate, “A Bruised Mood Over the Cabrini Green Projects”

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Watch Marvin Tate recite his poem, “My Life to the Present,” on Def Jam Poetry:

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Espada, Martin 1994

Wednesday, November 9, 1994


In the republic of poetry,
a train full of poets
rolls south in the rain
as plum trees rock
and horses kick the air,
and village bands
parade down the aisle
with trumpets, with bowler hats,
followed by the president
of the republic,
shaking every hand.

– Martin Espada, “The Republic of Poetry”

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Read this interview with Martin Espada from Poetry Daily:


Check out our latest features, including our Book Features, What Sparks Poetry and Hot Off the Presses.

Forty years ago, I bled in this hallway.
Half-light dimmed the brick
like the angel of public housing.
That night I called and listened at every door:
in 1966, there was a war on television.

– Martin Espada, “Return”

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Watch Martin Espada discuss poetry and activism:

Martín Espada discusses poetry and activism

In this edition of HoCoPoLitSo’s The Writing Life, poet and activist Naomi Ayala interviews poet, translator, essayist and activist Martín Espada. The deaths of five good friends sparked Espada’s newest book, The Trouble Ball. “I had to find a way to grapple with the deaths of these dear people, but I didn’t want these to be the normal elegies,” Espada explains.

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Ackerman, Diane 1993

Wednesday, October 6, 1993


How my roots fandango,
shag down
dark as anchovy fillets
in the sun
or, wind-spurred,
dicker, dodder, swoop and dodge.

– Diane Ackerman, “Lament of the Banyan Tree”

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Read this interview with Diane Ackerman from January Magazine:

Interview | Diane Ackerman

Buy it on Amazon Books by Diane Ackerman Deep Play I Praise My Destroyer The Rarest of the Rare A Natural History of the Senses The Moon by Whale Light Jaguar of Sweet Laughter Reverse Thunder On Extended Wings Lady Faustus Twilight of the Tenderfoot Wife of Light The Planets: A Cosmic Pastoral For Children: Monk Seal Hideaway Bats: Shadows in the Night Anthology: The Book of Love (with Jeanne Mackin) If I had my druthers every prose book I wrote would be like inhaling jungle.

The old moon lying in the young moon’s arms
lives in the shadow of her crescent light
and yet he rounds her out, shields her from harm
as she ripens in the star-encrusted night.

– Diane Ackerman, “Natural Wonders”

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Watch Diane Ackerman discuss her passion for nature writing from Kirkus TV:

Kirkus TV Interview with Best-Selling Author Diane Ackerman

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More info on Diane Ackerman⇒

Poet, essayist, and naturalist, Diane Ackerman is the author of two dozen highly acclaimed works of nonfiction and poetry. She has received a P.E.N. Henry David Thoreau Award for Nature Writing, Orion Book Award, John Burroughs Nature Award, Visionary Artist Award, Guggenheim Fellowship, Lavan Poetry Prize, honorary doctorate from Kenyon College, among others, and has been lionized as a Literary Lion by the New York Public Library. Several of her books have been Pulitzer Prize and National Book Circle Critics Award finalists. In 2016, Ackerman was elected to the American Academy of Arts & Sciences.

Gallagher, Tess 1990

Wednesday, March 28, 1990


I have had to write this down
in my absence and yours. These
things happen. Thinking
of a voice added
I imagine a sympathy outside us
that protects the message
from what can’t help,
being said.

– Tess Gallagher, “Love Poem to Be Read to an Illiterate Friend”

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Read this interview with Tess Gallagher from Poets&Writers:

An Interview With Tess Gallagher

At the time of this interview, Tess Gallagher had just published Amplitude: New and Selected Poems, which gathered poems from her first three collections, with Graywolf Press. Her most recent book, The Man From Kinvara: Selected Stories, also was published by Graywolf in September 2009. Entire Trees-Douglas Firs, Alders, hemlocks-have washed up onshore.

The sleep of this night deepens
because I have walked coatless from the house
carrying the white envelope.
All night it will say one name
in its little tin house by the roadside.

– Tess Gallagher, “Under Stars”

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Watch Tess Gallagher read her poetry at the Pennsylvania Scranton Public Library in October, 1980:

Friends of the Scranton Public Library Poery Series:Tess Gallagher Part One

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Lessing, Doris 1997

Wednesday, October 8, 1997


Oh Cherry trees you are too white for my heart,
And all the ground is whitened with your dying,
And all your boughs go dipping towards the river,
And every drop is falling from my heart.

– Doris Lessing, “Oh Cherry Trees You Are Too White For My Heart”

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Read an interview with Doris Lessing from the Paris Review:

The Art of Fiction No. 102

Photograph by Chris Saunders Doris Lessing was interviewed at the home of Robert Gottlieb, in Manhattan’s east forties. Her editor for many years at Knopf, Mr. Gottlieb was then the editor of The New Yorker. Ms. Lessing was briefly in town to attend some casting sessions for the…

Impenetrable, those walls, we thought,
Dark with ancient shields. The light
Shone on the head of a girl or young limbs
Spread carelessly. And the low voices
Rose in the silence and were lost as in water.

– Doris Lessing, “Fable”

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Watch Doris Lessing discuss her writing career:

Doris Lessing on her writing career

Doris Lessing shares anecdotes from her life as a writer. She was awarded the 2007 Nobel Prize in Literature. More about Doris Lessing at

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Gunn, Thom 1995

Wednesday, October 11, 1995


I thought I was so tough,
But gentled at your hands,
Cannot be quick enough
To fly for you and show
That when I go I go
At your commands.

– Thom Gunn, “Tamer and Hawk”

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Listen to Thom Gunn’s Poetry Center of Chicago reading:

Read an interview with Thom Gunn from the Paris Review:

The Art of Poetry No. 72

Thom Gunn 1960 Hampstead-White Stone Pond. Thom Gunn was born in Gravesend, on the southern bank of the Thames estuary, in 1929. His childhood was spent mostly in that county, Kent, and in the affluent suburb of Hampstead in northwest London. A relatively happy boyhood was overshadowed firs…

One by one they appear in
the darkness: a few friends, and
a few with historical
names. How late they start to shine!

– Thom Gunn, “My Sad Captains”

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Listen to Thom Gunn read two of his poems:

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