A Conversation on Form with Sonia Sanchez

by Annie Finch Sonia Sanchez has been an influential force in American literary and political culture for many decades. Her ardent voice with its colloquial diction and archetypal imagery helped revolutionize African-American poetry in the 1960s. What many people don’t realize is that Sanchez’s poetry is also strongly marked by formal resonance and structural insight.…

Are You a Hot Poet? Check Out These Meter Kegels Exercises

by Annie Finch  (This essay originally appeared on Annie’s blog at the Poetry Foundation. ) After years of living with the stereotype that formal skill is somehow at odds with poetic inspiration, I turned to satire to make my point.  The following essay is based on an article on the value of doing Kegels exercises.  It is published here with grateful…

Isis, Goddess of Integration

by Annie Finch When you hear the acronym “ISIS” lately, you recognize it as an acronym of terror and brutality. This is a shame, because “Isis” is a word that has much to offer us. Isis was an ancient Egyptian goddess worshipped all across the Mediterranean and beyond, and now is the time of year…

Frost’s “Dust of Snow”

I took a walk in the woods last week. The snow was thick and rather wet that day, and as, near the end of my walk, I stopped my crunching footsteps to listen, I heard crows cawing to each other, a repeating music, punctuated occasionally by the plop of wet snow off a branch, and…