July/August 2005

The Poetry Foundation

The infusion of cash that Poetry received a couple of years back has given the editors freedom to try a lot of new things; their commentary and the letters section have gotten notably better. But this summer’s special humor issue takes the cake. In general, poetry tends to take itself too damned seriously; this issue is the antidote. From Andrew Hudgin’s laugh-out-loud funny “The Glass Hammer” to Donald Hall’s sly shot at all the jocks who used to get the girls in “Olives,” it’s a sort of literary coffee-snorting fun. I was especially engaged by the faux “News Notes” in the back, which, although a bit of an inside joke on “poe-biz,” are nonetheless hilarious, especially in their willingness to name names and poke fun at the bigwigs. Of course, just the fact that poetry has bigwigs is a hoot.