Desk Copies of Ernest Hilbert’s Caligulan are Available for University Professors and Instructors

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If you teach a course in contemporary American poetry and you’d like to try something new, consider requesting a desk copy of my latest book, Caligulan, from Measure Press.

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“Red Wand” by Sandra Simonds


Sandra Simonds is the author of Mother Was a Tragic Girl (Cleveland State University Press, 2012). She teaches at Thomas University and lives in Tallahassee, Florida.

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Bethany’s Top Five Donald Trump Epithets

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An epithet is an adjective or descriptive phrase expressing a quality characteristic of the person or thing mentioned. It is usually a term of abuse, as in “dirty” old man. Here are some of the more biting epithets given to the current Republican front-runner, Donald Trump.

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“The Drinker” by Robert Lowell


“The subjects of these poems will eventually become extinct, like all other natural species devoured by time, but the indelible mark of their impression on a single sensibility will remain, in Lowell’s votive sculpture, bronzed to imperishability.” – Helen Vendler

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Top Five Recent Movie Trailers That Use Formerly Cheerful Music in a Slow Minor Key for Effect


Hollywood doesn’t do anything except in herds. Once one new style starts to take off, it is copied endlessly. Even in development, ideas, if you can call them such, motifs, really, are swapped, stolen, and seized so that suddenly ten movies using the same approach appear in a single season. Here’s one of the latest crazes.

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Janelle Reyes Reads Ernest Hilbert’s “Domestic Situation” from Sixty Sonnets

Janelle Reyes

Janelle Reyes from Capital Christian High School performs “Domestic Situation” by Ernest Hilbert at Poetry Out Loud 2016.

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Excerpt from “Wiped Out” by James Matthew Wilson

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James Matthew Wilson is the author of Four Verse Letters (Steubenville UP, 2010), a chapbook of poems, and Timothy Steele: A Critical Introduction (Story Line Press, 2012). His poems, essays, and reviews have appeared in many journals and magazines, including Modern Age, First Things, The Dark Horse, Chronicles, Measure, The American Conservative, Front Porch Republic, and The Raintown Review. An award-winning scholar of philosophical-theology and literature, he teaches as Assistant Professor of Humanities and Augustine Traditions at Villanova University and lives in the village of Berwyn, Pennsylvania, with his wife and children.

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“Kingdom Come” by Rowan Ricardo Phillips


Rowan Ricardo Phillips is the award-winning author of two books of poetry, The Ground and Heaven, both published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux, as well as the acclaimed collection of literary essays When Blackness Rhymes with Blackness and a translation, from the Catalan, of Ariadne in the Grotesque Labyrinth. Also a prodigious sportswriter, Rowan writes a weekly basketball column for The Paris Review. Phillips has taught at Harvard, Columbia, Princeton and Stony Brook University. He is also a Fellow of the New York Institute for the Humanities at NYU. He lives in New York City and Barcelona.

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“Death Under Glass” by Weldon Kees


“Others have called themselves Apocalyptics; Kees lived in a permanent and hopeless apocalypse.” – Kenneth Rexroth

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“The Philosopher” by Edna St. Vincent Millay


“America has two great attractions: the skyscraper and the poetry of Edna St. Vincent Millay.” – Thomas Hardy

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“Consider this and in our time” by W.H. Auden


“Auden was the first poet writing in English who felt at home in the twentieth century. He welcomed into his poetry all the disordered conditions of his time, all its variety of language and event.” – Edward Mendelson

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Ernest Hilbert Recent Publications and Other News February and March 2016

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A quick update on some recent activity in the realms of poetry and opera for the edification of those who do not follow me on Facebook or Twitter.

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Top Five Secret Service Code Names for the 2016 US Presidential Race

U.S. President Barack Obama walks to greet well-wishers, with Secret Service agents at his side, upon his arrival in Tampa, Florida April 13, 2012.                       

The secret service picks secret code names to use to refer to politicians and presidential candidates (this is a topic we’ve covered before). Technically speaking, the​ names are​​ supposed to be assigned randomly, but code names for family members are supposed to be​ similar (thus the four members of the Obama family are Renegade, Renaissance, Radiance, and Rosebud). Sometimes they seem almost to have hidden significance. For example, George W. Bush and Jeb Bush had the codenames Tumbler and Tripper, back when their dad was the vice president and W. had a drinking problem. When W. became president, he had his name changed to Trailblazer. So, some of the presidential candidates have already been given secret service names. Wonder what those entirely randomly chosen names are? Happy to oblige.

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“The Magnet” by Thomas Stanley


“Stanley’s fame was as a scholar and translator. He was the author of History of Philosophy (1655-62) and edited Aeschylus in 1663. His best know translations are those of Anacreon and of Johannes Secundus.” – G. Saintsbury

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“A Visitation” by Eric Thomas Norris


Eric Norris lives in Portlandia, USA. His poems and short stories have appeared in Soft Blow, Assaracus, Jonathan, The Nervous Breakdown, Glitterwolf, The Raintown Review, and E-Verse Radio.

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Top Five Awesome People who are (Surprisingly) Still Alive

Jake Lamotta, 91 years old, who was known as "The Raging Bull" during his career, at his apartment in Manhattan. photo William Farrington

We’ve lost a lot of good people lately. January 2016 was tough, with Lemmy, David Bowie, Alan Rickman, and others. So let’s enjoy those who are still in our midst. These people seem like remnants of a former era!

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“Five Flights Up” by Elizabeth Bishop


“Elizabeth Bishop was not just a good poet but a great one. Bishop accomplished a magical illumination of the ordinary, forcing us to examine our surroundings with the freshness of a friendly alien.” – David Lehman

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Top Five Woody Allen Movies in which an Older Man Has an Affair with a Much Younger Woman


An easy target, you might think, but it’s worth pointing out these age discrepancies. You have been warned!

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“Trumpet Player” by Langston Hughes


“Langston Hughes is a titanic figure in 20th-century American Literature…a powerful interpreter of the American experience . . . His poems are as vital as ever.” – Philadelphia Inquirer

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“All-Night T.V.” by Christina Cook


Christina Cook is the author of two chapbooks, Ricochet (Casa de Cinco Hermanas Press, 2016) and Lake Effect (Finishing Line Press, 2012). Her book, A Strange Insomnia, is forthcoming from Kelsay Books.

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Top Five Similarities Between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-Il


Kim Jong-Il, the Dear Leader of North Korea, passed away in 2011, but his memory lives on. He is the star of movies like Team America, World Police and the producer of films like Pulgasari, a Godzilla-like monster movie directed by and starring South Koreans whom he kidnapped expressly to make the film. In other words, he was a bold and decisive leader as well as patron of the arts. And now, he reminds us of a new American leader, Donald Trump. The two share some important traits, as described here.

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David Bowie and Lou Reed Perform Together on Bowie’s 50th Birthday


Two rock legends share the stage at David Bowie’s 50th birthday concert at Madison Square Garden in 1997. It’s hard to accept that they are both gone now.

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“The Relic” by John Donne


“Wonder—exciting vigour, intenseness and peculiarity of thought, using at well almost boundless stores of capacious memory, and exercised on subjects, where we have no right to expect it—this is the wit of Donne!” – Samuel Taylor Coleridge

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“Destinations” by Anthony Hecht


“Hecht’s poetry works the fault lines of human failing, gauging the pitfalls of pride and what he called ‘the infections of the ego.’” – David Yezzi

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Philip Levine Reads from his Debut Poetry Collection ‘On The Edge’

Philip Levine

Thanks to the online digital archive of The Poetry Center at San Francisco State University, you can listen to a recording of former U.S. Poet Laureate Philip Levine reading his early poetry. Levine’s early work is more formal than the poems for which he is mostly remembered. These poems are written in rhyme and meter or syllabics. The recording is a fascinating listen.

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Geoffrey Hill Reads from “The Mystery of the Charity of Charles Péguy” for the 99th anniversary of Charles Péguy’s death at Villeroy

Geoffrey Hill

On September 8th, Sir Geoffrey Hill has attended the 99th anniversary of Charles Péguy’s death at Villeroy (30 kilometers from Paris). As a tribute to the famous French poet and polemicist, he has read extracts from “The Mystery of the Charity of Charles Péguy.” On the left: Michel Péguy, grand-son of Charles Péguy.

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“Anasazi” by Terese Coe


Terese Coe’s poems and translations have appeared in Threepenny Review, Poetry, New American Writing, Ploughshares, Alaska Quarterly Review, The Cincinnati Review, New Writing Scotland, The Moth, the TLS, Poetry Review, New Walk Magazine, The Stinging Fly, and many other publications, including anthologies. Her poem “More” was heli-dropped across London in the 2012 London Olympics Rain of Poems, and her collection of poems, Shot Silk, was recently published by Kelsay Books. Further information is at .

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“Dream Song 70” by John Berryman

Oxford Eights

“The character of Henry [the hero of The Dream Songs] is a permanent addition to our literature.” – James Schevill

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“Winter Insomnia” by Raymond Carver


Raymond Carver was born in Clatskanie, Oregon, in 1938. His father was a saw-mill worker and his mother was a waitress and clerk. He married early and for years writing had to come second to earning a living for his young family. Despite, small-press publication, it was not until Will You Please Be Quiet Please? appeared in 1976 that his work began to reach a wider audience. This was the year in which he gave up alcohol, which had contributed to the collapse of his marriage. In 1977 he met the writer Tess Gallagher, with whom he shared the last eleven years of his life. During this prolific period he wrote three collections of stories, What We Talk About When We Talk About Love, Cathedral, and Elephant.

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“Whereabouts” by Kevin Cutrer


Kevin Cutrer was born in the American South, has lived in South America, and now resides in the southernmost neighborhood of Boston. His first poetry collection, Lord’s Own Anointed, was published in 2015 by Dos Madres Press. His run-ins with higher education have occurred at Southeastern Louisiana University and Emerson College. The Hudson Review, The Dark Horse, The Raintown Review, and many other journals have published his poems, and he has been a featured reader for the reading series Mr. Hip Presents, U35, and Carmine Street Metrics. He shares news about his work, and work that interests him, at

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