Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Pushcart Nominees

With no further ado, may I announce the 2015 Pushcart Nominees from The Worcester Review!


Polly Brown, “Mike Talks to Abe”

James McKee, “Home”

Jon Volkmer, “Vigil”

Len Krisak, “Verona: Sonnet #2”


Jarrett Kaufman, “The Son”

Congratulations and good luck to all!

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

From Volume 36: A Poem by Len Krisak

Verona: Sonnet #2
by Len Krisak

The playground called "the park": three diamonds once,
Then, only one providing fans a cage.
Worn down to khaki talc, the other two
Survived in only faintly rhomboid traces.
On these, the five of us swung for the fences.
(There would have been no point to stolen bases,
Sacrifices, suicides, or bunts.
Besides, those were too hard for kids our age.)
A fly to right was out, force-outs were few,
And when it didn't rain, the skies were blue.
What girls we knew had not yet had their menses.
Well, Bobby's sister Betty--maybe--who
Could homer farther than you ever saw,
And rounding third, elicited pure awe.

In the Spotlight: Len Krisak

In this post, contributor Len Krisak tells us about his writing process and inspirations. Len Krisak is the recipient of the Robert Penn Warren, Richard Wilbur, and Robert Frost Prizes. His most recent books are Ovid's Erotic Poems (U Penn Press) and the Carmina of Catullus (Carcanet, U.K.). He is a four-time champion on Jeopardy! We re honored to share his poems "Maine Poem", "Verona: Sonnet #2", and "Continuing Evolution of the Pachyderm" in Volume 36. 

Two of your three featured poems in this edition relate to Maine. Do you mind sharing some of your past experiences with the state? Have you spent your childhood there or annual summers? And what inspires you to write poetry about Maine?

I met my inamorata in Maine and have returned to the state many times--Portsmouth for music and restaurants, Down East for hiking, summer rentals,  college and museum tours, etc. As for  inspiration: I tend to write heavily metaphor-driven verse. That is, I see or hear something striking and it makes me think of something else, which then marinates in my consciousness until I have the meter and first line that seem to go together and feel "right." They then pretty much dictate my forward progress.

Your poems evoke a sense of personal, intimate history, yet they can be applied to the lives of other people (such as the memories of playing baseball as a young child in a local park). When writing, do you try to include only your memories or do you try to include things that other people can relate to?