21 Most-Mentioned Poets

Posted by Robert Peake.

As the year comes to a close, I find myself in a reflective mood. Having compiled a list of the more than 350 poets I have mentioned on my website since I began writing about poetry in 2003, I was curious to discover which poets I have mentioned most often in the last ten years…. Read more »

Why Sharon Olds?

Sharon Olds

Posted by Robert Peake.

“You must revise your life.” -Wiliam Stafford   The audience at the T.S. Eliot Shortlist Reading were the real winners. They were treated to Gillian Clarke’s quiet tenderness, like a swan navigating a near-frozen lake. They relished the sweet sibilance of beekeeper Sean Borodale. Julia Copus gave visions of ova during IVF as ghost-like “luminous… Read more »

10 Transcontinental Poets for 2013

Posted by Robert Peake.

The Internet gives us the illusion that the best a culture has to offer will invariably find its way to us. But when it comes to art, I find that so much still comes down to local knowledge. Americans and Brits alike have long maintained a fascination with the literary work of their overseas cousins,… Read more »

The Power and Peril of Written Words

America, A Prophecy by William Blake

Posted by Robert Peake.

I believe that it is important to intelligently question the modern relevance of our ancestors’ words. It is as important to literature as it is to government. The Second Amendment to the US Constitution was enacted on December 15th, 1791, exactly 221 years ago today. I currently live in England–a country with no written constitution…. Read more »

In Praise of Autodidacticism

Posted by Robert Peake.

I was born and raised in a town that recently ranked as the worst place in the nation to live, due to unemployment. My father relocated to the Imperial Valley of California before I was born. He went there to run experimental community-oriented education programs in a school for troubled teens located three blocks north… Read more »

Notes on Form in Poetry

Posted by Robert Peake.

In preparing for a upcoming workshop on poetic form, it occurs to me to ask (and answer) the question: why should form matter to poets in the twenty-first century? After all, the majority of poems written in English today are written in free verse. Certainly it is important to have a grasp of form in… Read more »

Tactics for Sneaky Poets

Posted by Robert Peake.

I had a great time facilitating the “Tactics for Sneaky Poets” workshop at Theater 150 this morning. The workshop is a flurry of creative exercises designed to demonstrate various “tactics” that poets can use to be “sneaky” with themselves in the creative process–to outwit the negative critic and analytical mind, and keep on keeping on… Read more »