| Apr 25, 2010
Book review: ‘The Best of It: New and Selected Poems' by Kay Ryan
The Best of It
New and Selected Poems
Grove: 270 pp., $24
Contemporary poetry is a bit like visual art. Much of it makes you grab your chin and nod in stumped...
| Nov 1, 2009
The Suicide Run
Five Tales of the Marine Corps
Random House: 198 pp., $24
The business -- and I use the word advisedly -- of posthumous publication is a troubling one. We honor our dear dead. Yet there are certain kinds of attention...
| Nov 10, 2009
Despite his reputation as a public performer, the poet Robert Frost came uneasily both to readings and lectures of any kind. He was so nervous about public speaking that he once put stones in his shoes to distract him from stage fright; early on, he...
| Aug 9, 2009
Bloomsbury: 222 pp., $18
Travel writing is a category filled with subsets and divisions, but there are two principal modes. The first is that of discovery -- a voyager sets out to find a place that he or she has never...
| Aug 30, 2009
Love and Summer
Viking: 212 pp., $25.95
That William Trevor has not yet received the Nobel Prize in Literature strikes me as a shame. Surely his absence from the list of laureates has more to do with the politics of national...
| Jan 17, 2010
In October 2002, a trim, white-haired poet named Don Thompson sat down in a farmhouse in the San Joaquin Valley and wrote a poem called "Turning Sixty." In it, he compared his birthday to the climb of "a few degrees on the thermometer" that "add up to the...
| Jan 24, 2010
Concerning E.M. Forster
Farrar, Straus & Giroux: 192 pp., $24
E.M. Forster's "Aspects of the Novel" is required reading for students of the genre. Originally delivered in 1927 as the Clark Lectures at Trinity College in Cambridge, the...