Q&A with Eileen Myles: Unwrapping time

by Valerie Braylovskiy

Poetry can encompass many shapes and qualities, including the singular capacity to open new pathways of understanding ourselves. A poet who achieves this feat is unafraid to take risks and question the quotidian. Eileen Myles has consistently been one of those poets. Myles’ newest poetry collection, a “Working Life” (Grove Atlantic Press, 267 pages), is perhaps their deepest and most personal exploration of what it means to be human. Myles says that “maybe time is the real subject of language,” and uses temporality to explore personal and public moments within a broader sociopolitical landscape. Born in Boston and now living […]

Continue Reading

Bearing Witness: ‘Bone Country,’ by Linda Nemec Foster

by Gus Berg

In Bone Country (110 pages; Cornerstone Press), the thirteenth poetry collection by Linda Nemec Foster, each poem is a snapshot, presented in a fragmented style that emphasizes the intensity of each image. Despite this fragmentation, the collection is united by a quick rhythm that propels the reader. Every piece is imbued with an intense sense of place in Europe. Warsaw, Krakow, Bratislava, the Tatra Mountains, Now Sac, Rzeszow, Tarnow, and the Baltic Sea all make early appearances. Poland is the central focus, from the beauty of natural landscapes to the horrors of war and occupation. The collection explores the tension […]

Continue Reading

Keeping It Light: ‘Always Alwaysland: New Poems’ by Stanley Moss

by Megan Luebberman

Having written several volumes over half a century, the critically acclaimed American poet Stanley Moss continues to offer galvanizing ideas, images, and feelings in his work. His latest, Always Alwaysland (239 pages; Seven Stories Press), contains more than 100 poems covering a wide range of personal, philosophical, and political topics. Using fanciful free verse and occasional rhyme schemes, Moss takes readers through his vivid memories and endless imagination.             While Always Alwaysland has no unifying theme, there are recurring ideas, such as the concept of language, reading, and poetry itself. Moss continually comments about the nature of the poet and […]

Continue Reading

Broken Home: ‘Archipelago,’ by Laila Malik

by Zoe Binder

            From the first piece in her debut poetry collection, Archipelago (86 pages; Book*hug Press), Laila Malik ponders the complexity and impermanence of home, a concept that sometimes stretches across continents. The metaphorical loss of place through multigenerational migration and the literal loss of land through climate change are connected in each of the collection’s four sections (“precambrian”; “petroleum by-products”; “half-life of exile”; and “kufic”).             Many of the pieces in Archipelago are written in the second person, interspersed with the expanded first-person perspective “we,” transforming a collection of personal reflections into a subtle set of instructions. Malik’s poems carry […]

Continue Reading

My California

by Lee Herrick

Here, an olive votive keeps the sunset lit, the Korean twenty-somethings talk about hyphens, graduate school, and good pot. A group of four at a window table in Carpinteria discuss the quality of wines in Napa Valley versus Lodi. Here, in my California, the streets remember the Chicano poet whose songs still bank off Fresno’s beer-soaked gutters and almond trees in partial blossom. Here, in my California, we fish out long noodles from the pho with such accuracy you’d think we’d done this before. In Fresno, the bullets tire of themselves and begin to pray five times a day. In […]

Continue Reading

My Unsent Letter to You

by W. S. Di Piero

I’m writing in December. The almanacs call this a cold full moon. I watch it shadow through its veils. My book says of amor fati: want nothing more than what comes at you; love necessity; relive life’s phases in round time, evermore. Pain, unpain, joy, pain, groceries, car woes, plague. Our master plan of repetitions that can’t be planned for. We’ll never want things back. We’ll rush every instant as the last. I say love. I repeat it. I want to drink the lived, absent episodes of any hour, as we drink each other’s words, on the porch, under trees, […]

Continue Reading


by Edward Derby

Hungers, germs, personal email gone to SPAM, lost postcards that explained everything, what to do about the weeds in the gravel, catalytic converter theft, a blood stain in a library book (page 17), sock holes, black holes, global warming, automatic subscription renewals, bankruptcy, asteroids, air quality, a helicopter circling the neighborhood, eviction, sagging underwear elastic,

Subscribers only: to access this content, you must be a member of ZYZZYVA Studio. Membership is included with any subscription. Subscribe today, or if you are already a subscriber, log in to continue reading. (Read our FAQ for more details, and contact us if you have any trouble logging in.)


Continue Reading


by Dominica Phetteplace

She says Namaste even when not in yoga class, whereas I will not say om under any circumstances. She says she doesn’t resent the younger generation, that they are completely of a world that we made, that to hate the young is to hate ourselves. She says that guys on dating apps indicate their marriage suitability by listing their hobbies as ‘hiking’ and ‘rock climbing.’ Her hobbies include cocaine and gambling, but she leaves those off her profile. Somedays she doesn’t feel like getting out of bed, but if I say I want to get coffee she will walk with […]

Continue Reading

National Poetry Month: Opening the Mail

by W. S. Di Piero

ZYZZYVA Volume 35, #3, Winter 2019

The notices hit my inbox once a week, it seems,dusty phantasmal names sickly and unwanted.I don’t remember them, the boys from my high school,their Irish, Slavic, Italian names in the “subject” line,put there by Principle Father Rich, once one of us,we tough tender souls weathering snotty skies.The announcements come like rude enchantments, a sullen choirbeseeching with their newly minted news. They were there,as I was, but the names are husks, blowing through time,boys I never knew: Charlie McNally, Cosimo Picucci,Stosh Grzywinski, the Two-Streeters and corner boys,vets, mummers, contractors, bankers, teachers, priests,returning to their place among the infiniteunheard-from dead. The e-mails […]

Continue Reading

National Poetry Month: Invitation

by Al Young

In memory of Papa Jo Jones & Philly Joe Jones There’ll be all the requisites & O how exquisite the presence of night blooming jazzmen & women, flowering in aurora borealis like all the rounded midnights & Moscow nights and New Delhi dawns you ever wanted to drop in on or sit in with or pencil into your calendar of unscheduled delights. There’ll be love in all its liquid power, rhythmic & brassy; mellifluous forms, flashing flesh & the slippery glittering skin of your teeth; enchantment, male & female; the orchid chords of hothouse scat as pop song, as darkness […]

Continue Reading

National Poetry Month: In Love With a Woman

by Lady Nestor Gomez

I should die in miscommunication breed fantasies unregulated, losses innumerable Mejor hablar español o componerme en nahuat I could speak and not offend I would stop a symphony and find closure erase bus stops and listen to my sister, the violent rain waiting for your seven days This isn’t a poem of love or hate but our days traveling in gray sand black night beaches and post-birthdays to speak to you I could hide and not love die in anonymity vanish in the ’80s with the rest of my ghosts but I can’t stop searching engines for your name our […]

Continue Reading