‘Suitor’ by Joshua Rivkin: The Power of Ambiguity

by Cade Johnson

The term “suitor” evokes the masculine role in courtship, and in Joshua Rivkin’s latest collection of poetry it takes on many forms as his poems grapple with masculinity, personal history, and desire. Suitor (88 pages; Red Hen Press), whose title Rivkin tells us early on comes “from the Latin secutor,/ to follow,” proves an expansive rumination on the self, what it means to succeed those who came before you, as well as the pursuit of desire. Rivkin’s poems emphasize a need to unearth perspectives previously unknown. In doing so, Rivkin sheds patriarchal categorizations of good and bad, of binaries and a […]

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‘Little Key’ by Joshua Rivkin: National Poetry Month

by Zack Ravas

April represents National Poetry Month, intended as a way to spread awareness and appreciation of poetry in the United States. To celebrate, each week we will be taking a look back at ZYZZYVA’s recent and distant past to share some choice selections. For our final installment, we present “Little Key” by Joshua Rivkin from Issue No. 103: Hopes are shy birds flying at a great distance, seldom reached by the best of guns, Audubon wrote in his journal thinking not of the hawk or the wren but of course the sparrow. An animal throat untwists the shadow of your name. Song replying […]

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