My latest poetry review on Dena Rash Guzman’s fabulous collection Joseph
by Dena Rash Guzman
Hologram Press (2017)
It wouldn’t be contentious to say the political poem has changed dramatically this century. While there is still the rather straight-forward, traditional poetry of protest, what has become more and more common are works at once expressly political while being aggressive personal and vice versa. At almost every level–the single poem, the chapbook, the full poetry collection, the poet herself, and the reader/audience–it is expected of poetry not to be merely beautiful, resonating with dynamic emotive energy but also a mindful critique of culture implicating all of us in successes, failures, guilt, and pride. Some of the best contemporary poetry exists at the crux of engagement such as Morgan Parker’s There Are More Beautiful Things Than Beyonce, Kaveh Akbar’s Portrait of the Alcoholic, or Whereas by Layli Long Soldier to name a few among many.
Gabrielle Calvocoressi’s definition of political…
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