James Longenbach

James Longenbach’s fourth collection of poems, The Iron Key, was published by Norton in the fall of 2010. He is the Joseph Gilmore Professor of English at the University of Rochester and the author, most recently, of The Art of the Poetic Line (Graywolf, 2008).

Fall 2012

Feeling Tense

By James Longenbach

What happens when a poem changes tense? Poetic language may change egregiously—diction, figure, syntax—but shifts in tense are so familiar, so endemic to ordinary speech, that they’re almost inaudible. All […]

Fall 2010

Ficus Carica

By James Longenbach

At first we built canopies out of foliage. We imitated swallows’ nests, using wattles and clay. When we gathered together in one place We called ourselves citizens. Diospolis, city of […]

Spring 2009

The Island

By James Longenbach

For three days every couple of weeks I lived In a small apartment, the kind built after the war. Nothing fancy: parquet floor, a fireplace, a bedroom, a bath. Woodwork […]