“J. Hope Stein’s poetry is inspired. Thick, playful, rewarding and true.”
“J. Hope Stein is one of my favorite poets …
Her images are outrageously vivid and memorable. Her music is alive, is unpredictable, is tender, is voracious. She updates the music of a great poet—say, John Berryman—into the 21st century, making the bard alive again, making the voice bristle with a verbal energy in this moment in time. But she is a poet all her own–unlike anyone else–writing a kind of music in which “the sky/drools sweetly to the ear” with sound that is full of emotion, full of erotic, ecstatic, essential moments: “I’m listening to Beethoven/…music swells/as it disappears into my pelvis.”
This is the kind of music that can take our most domestic moments–in which two people find themselves bewildered, and yet inseparable, in love–and see how they “act as two animals holding invisible balloons.” This music teaches us that our domestic joys, perhaps, are our last defense.
J. Hope Stein uses this defense of music, this shield of verbal art, against our moment’s ugliest creatures: “The steel men. The financiers. The patrons/of the petroleum arts,” and other kinds of trash, Donald Trump first in line among them. This poet knows that a time comes when only music and sensuality can still protect the soul. A time comes when there is no more time for the trivial. And she gives us the incredible energy, incredible verve of such saving music. Like I said, one of my favorite poets.”
- I’ve been having trouble saying how much the above words mean to me.
- You can buy Occasionally, I remove your brain through your nose here at Poet Republik. (thanks! Maria Teutsch).
- My poems are the luckiest poems that ever were to be bouncing around inside the cover artwork of (a thousand thank yous) Kate Micucci.
- Excerpts from Occasionally, I remove your brain through your nose are up at: Lenny Letter, Poetry International and bloodroot.
- An excerpt from The Inventor is in the latest monster issue of Poetry International. Ilya Kaminsky and his team in San Diego have outdone themselves with a wholly holly alive collection of work from poets too sacred to name. (but here is the HOT cover which lists them). (also check out PI’s important and devastating reporting from Syria , Ukraine, and more, including their Poetry in a Time of Crisis issue.
(It seems like I ‘m going to be doing a bunch of readings again, if anyone knows a good babysitter lemme know! here’s a photo from a reading a few months ago at KGB Bar with my girl strapped to me. I don’t think she will let me do that any more.)
- An excerpt from I Lob You is in the latest Boog Reader. (Thanks to David Kirschenbaum.)