Table of Contents, Spring-Summer 2019

American Poets Vol.56 Front Cover
Happy National Poetry Month!
By Jennifer Benka
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The Art of Poetry
Our First-Ever National Poetry Month Poster Contest for Students
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2019 Walt Whitman Award Winner
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Introducing Two New Chancellors: Joy Harjo and Natasha Trethewey
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On Poetic Discovery
The Scholars Behind Anne Sexton's Recovered Poems
read the poem
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Richard Blanco on His Poem “Mother Country”
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Walt Whitman Speaks
Excerpts from a Library of America Special Publication
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Poetry & Democracy
By Khaled Mattawa, Brenda Hillman, and Alberto Rios
read khaled mattawa’s essay and poems
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Selected poems from new books by Carl Adamschick, T. J. Anderson III, Caroline Knox, Lorianna Laux, Sally Wen Mao, Naomi Shihab Nye, and Aurthur Sze

Books Noted
by Laura Eve Engel
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From the Academy
Eight Decades of Firsts

from “Crossing Brooklyn Ferry”
By Walt Whitman
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Cover image
Excerpt from Whitman Illuminated: Song of Myself (Tin House Books, 2014)
Pen and ink

by Allen Crawford

"Whitman Illuminated: Song of Myself is an illustrated edition of the 1855 version of Walt Whitman’s 'Song of Myself,' the centerpiece of his great work, Leaves of Grass. Every part of the book is drawn by hand, including the forward and the publisher’s credits. It took me fourteen months to complete.

To remain visually coherent, each two-page spread had to have a focal point—a subject, theme, or mood—so I broke down 'Song of Myself' into verse clusters that could stand on their own in a two-page spread.

Whitman Illuminated is meant to be both viewed and read. Its small size and graphic density, combined with the non-linear arrangements of text, invites the reader to traverse Whitman’s poem in digressive ways. It compels the reader to slow down, turn the small book in their hands, and ponder the images and text. I wanted to create a parallel visual narrative to Whitman’s words, forming an interpretive gap in which the reader—or viewer—may travel."