Saturday, July 25, 2009

Long Poem Articles

A work in progress! Here is a list of articles I've found on the genre of long poems and poem cycles. If you have an article, discussion board, or other resource to suggest for the list, please email me at editor.stringbeanpress (at)

Baker, Peter, Obdurate Brilliance: Exteriority and the Modern Long Poem, University of Florida Press (Gainesville, FL), 1991.

Crown, Kathleen. "Forms of Expansion: Recent Long Poems by Women.(Review)"
Contemporary Literature, December 22, 1998.

Seiferle, Rebecca. "The Poem Is Not a Closed System: Eight great poem-cycles that anthologies always miss." Poetry Foundation:

Long Poem?

I've begun the index portion with books off my own shelf--and am totally surprised. To me, the definitions online of long poems don't quite cut it. There's a length--more than two journal or poetry book pages--that's difficult to get right, difficult to get published, and frankly, more difficult to read. And there's a HUGE number of these poems lurking, sparkling, effervescing in the the pages of poetry books.
(probably not anthologies though...but that's next!) I've been reading and recording the acknowledgements as well, hoping to add those to the index. It might be useful for those hoping to place an awkwardly-lengthed poem, what I will call a long poem. But maybe the most important factor in getting a poem of this length placed is to be a famous poet!

Do you agree with me that a poem over two pages (short little journal pages) is long? There is something psychologically challenging about turning that SECOND page. You have to brace yourself, maybe you feel a sinking feeling. The poem has to overcome that. It is LONG. Maybe not long by 19th or even 20th century standards, but by 21st century standards, the demands of the kind of extended poetic attention is rigorous! Yet so many poets are attracted to, or compelled to write poems of this length. What does it help them accomplish?

From the poems I've read in the last couple days, preparing a first draft of the index based on my own poetry bookshelf--they are ambitious poems. And they fail--or achieve--a lot.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Long Poem Index

Long Poem Index, List of Long Poems, Poem Cycles, and Epic Poems with links (where available)A WORK IN PROGRESS*

Becker, Robin. "Our Best Selves" The American Poetry Review

Bidart, Frank. Star Dust
"Advice to the Players"
"The Third Hour of the Night" Poetry. This is a LONG poem.

Carson, Anne. Glass, Irony, and God.
"The Glass Essay"
"TV Men"
"TV Men: Sokrates"
"The Fall of Rome: A Traveller's Guide" The Descant Anthology
"Book of Isaiah" The Descant Anthology

Dove, Rita. Mother Love
"Persephone in Hell" Gettysburg Review
"The Bistro Styx" Parnassus
"Her Island" Poetry

Graham, Jorie. Erosion
"Reading Plato"
"The Age of Reason"
"Two Paintings by Gustav Klimt"
"At Luca Signorelli's Resurrection of the Body"

Goldbarth, Albert.
"The Poem of the Little House on the Corner of Misapprehension and Marvel"

Graham, Jorie. The End of Beauty
"Self-Portrait as the Gesture Between Them [Adam and Eve"]
"Orpheus and Euridyce"
"What the End Is For [Grand Forks, North Dakota]"
"Self-Portrait as Apollo and Daphne"
"Noli Me Tangere"
"Self-Portrait as Hurry and Delay"
"Breakdancing [Teresa: St. Teresa of Avila]"
"The Veil"
"Fission Region of Unlikeness"
"From the New World"
"The Hiding Place"
"Chaos [Eve]"
"The Marriage"
"The Tree of Knowledge"
"What is Called Thinking"
"The Phase After History"
"Relativity: A Quartet Materialism"

Graham, Jorie. The Dream of the Unified Field
"Manifest Destiny
"The Visible World"
Hayes, Terrance. "Arbor for Butch" The American Poetry Review
Levis, Larry. The Afterlife
"The Witness"
"The Double"
"In Captivity"

Levis, Larry. The Selected Levis
"Magician Poems"
"For the Country"
"The Double"
"Picking Grapes in an Abandoned Vineyard"
"Some Ashes Pitting Above Piedra, California"
"Overhearing the Dollmaker's Ghost on the Riverwalk"
"The Spirit Says, You Are Nothing"
"Irish Music"
"Though His Name Is Infinite, My Father Is Asleep"
"Some Grass Along a Ditch Bank"
"Two Variations on a Theme by Kobayashi"
"The Assimilatino of the Gypsies"
"The Spell of the Leaves"
"Sleeping Lioness"
"Slow Child with a Book of Birds"
"The Perfection of Solitude: A Sequence" a LONG poem
"To Wren on Calvary"
"The Widening Spell of Leaves""At the Grave of My Guardian"
"Angel: St. Louis Cemetary, New Orleans"
"The Two Trees"
"Anastasia and Sandman"
"The Smell of the Sea"
"Elegy with a Petty Thief in the Rigging"
"Elegy with a Thimbleful of Water in the Cage"
"Elegy with a Bridle in Its Hand"
"Elegy for Poe with the Music of a Carnival Inside It"
"Elegy Ending in the Sound of a Skipping Rope"

Mandell, Charlotte. The Life of Mary

Mandell, Charlotte. The Marriages of Jacob

Rukeyser, Muriel. The Book of the Dead. article
"The Book of the Dead"

Oliver, Mary. American Primitive
"The Lost Children" Three Rivers Poetry Journal
"Ghosts" National Forum
"Little Sister Pond"
"The Gardens"

Sze, Arthur. Quipu comments
"Earthshine" Conjunctions, Photographers, Writers, and the American Scene; Visions of Passage"Quipu"
"Aqueous Gold" Boston Review
"Inflorescence" Manoa, The Wisdom Anthology of North American Buddhist Poetry
"Angle of Reflection" Equals the Angle of Incidence" Carnet de Route
"Ridyma" The Kenyon Review

Watkins, Christopher. Short Houses with Wide Porches
"'Bohemian Blues Night' at the Bosendorfer Lounge, Orlando, Florida, November 2, 2006"
"Elephant Graveyards"
"Thought On A Minor Collection Of French And American Barbizon And Impressionist Works At The Orlando Museum of Art Written During The Final 20 Minutes Before Closing"
"Kindredity: Anna Maria Island"
"The Blind Tenor Poems"

Wright, C.D. Deep Step Come Shining. comment recorded reading
partially published as a chapbook by Black Warrior Review

Wojahn, David. Spirit Cabinet
"Cartouche" Kenyon Review
"Stalin's Library Card" Poetry
"Tribulation Eclogue"
"The Ravenswood" Southern Review
"Word Horde against the Gnostics" Third Coast, The New Breadloaf Anthology of Contemporary American Poetry
"After Propertius" The New Breadloaf Anthology of Contemporary American Poetry
"For the Centenary of Hart Crane" Crazyhorse
"Crayola: A Sequence" This is a hardcore long poem.
"Can You Spare Me Over" TriQuarterly
"For Townes Van Zandt, 1946-1997"
"Alchemy, Mother Ship, Mile One One Seven" Hayden's Ferry Review
"Triclinium: Couple Bending to a Burning Photo" Ploughshares
"Kill Born, Weed Smoke, Chk Mark, Onchola Senn" Kenyon Review

Zingari, Attenti Agli. "Daisy Fried" The American Poetry Review

*To suggest additional titles, please email title and author to editor.stringbeanpress (at) . Include links if available to book purchasing site, journal, or artist page!

Coming Attraction: Online Resource for Long Poems

It may be another form of procrastination, or maybe it's just the kind of writing I can do with a baby on my lap, but I'm starting work on the online resource part of the project. Since grant writing is for August, I have no money for web hosting. Oh, so sad. But without reprinting or printing poems or pieces from long poems--why not just use the blog to host the long poem index!

I'd love someday to expand that resource to critism and reviews about these poems. If you'd like to review one listed, please email editor.stringbeanpress (at)

Monday, July 13, 2009

Lulu Minibook

Although I've priced the cheapest possible printing source, I'm so tempted by Lulu's new POD minibook format. It's the size of index cards! Not for long poems, I agree, and it's expensively priced for full color printing. But a photo/short poem collaboration could rock this format!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Interns: Got 'em

Great news, I might have some creative writing students from my alma mater to weigh in on contest entries! This is great for funding applications, and also for transparency to make sure the judge gets finalists that appeal to the most poets. It's great too to have an institutional connection, even a very informal one.

So it looks like online submissions would be a good idea.

I've also been browsing VistaPrint (instead of working on my incredibly tight chapbook manuscript deadline) and found a pretty affordable banner for an AWP table for 2011.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

String Bean Press has email


String Bean Press: I'm doing it!

It's been percolating in my head for about a year now: to create a press to support long poem publications, to make chapbooks out of long poems and poem cycles, an anthology of shorter long poems, and to gather info about long poems, epic poems, and poem cycles on the web for poets, students, and teachers. And to do it all super cheaply, so that contests could be entered by everyone who wants to participate, books can be bought by as many people who can afford a cup of Starbucks, and long poems and their poets can reach as large an audience as possible.

So I've started the press, and this is it's blog, where you can read about me trying to get this thing off the ground and where I'll post info on long poems. (Free hosting!)

So far the press has: a judge for the first contest, someone at least intrigued to be the art editor for covers etc., a pretty cheap printer, 500 postcards, and a domain. So far the press does not have: money, submissions, production timetable, advertising, logo.

Onward and forward!