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In Bowling Class, I Think of Dad Taking Things Three Months at a Time

In Olympia, my father

to whom I will not speak,

whose face heavies with the shrinking

ledger of days,

plants azaleas after surgery, the grooves

in his fingers filling with soil

and mercy.

Posted in Broadside Thirty, General, Poetry

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We Learn To Be Human

From our current Faith issue.  For you Portlanders (or those with private jets who fly around the country for literary events), Alicia will be reading this Thursday at our Holocene party.  WE LEARN TO BE HUMAN I attended the online seminar on shame it helped for a minute more importantly I’ve been loving the goddess for a […]

Posted in Poetry

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Poetry Month Gems

April is National Poetry Month, so we thought we’d check in with our staff for some poetry recommendations. Where better to start than with Matthew Dickman, our Poetry Editor: Matthew: I can’t stop reading work by Khadijah Queen. Her poems are dynamic, ecstatic, and important. Copies of her books Fearful Beloved and Non-Sequitur are never […]

Posted in Desiderata, General, Poetry

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Bloodline

  The loneliest feeling, she said on a day when the sky was clear, is watching an airplane fly away,   and in the middle of Valentine Texas a single machine mends railroad tracks, cracks splinter form   while buzzards string red remains over gravel lanes.   Before, she created still-life with oil paint and […]

Posted in Broadside Thirty, Poetry

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Improvisation without Accompaniment

Give me something gold to grapple with: three

apples to juggle, a scrap of paper to fold

into a dove.

Posted in Broadside Thirty, Poetry

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Diagram of Select Cuts

From Issue #62 DIAGRAM OF SELECT CUTS Divided like a continent. Spitting image of the British Jack. Brisket I whispered, disregarding the language of the area, I am on to you. Who doesn’t want to be reconfigured? Asking nothing of the condemned but bones and a clean break. This close to you I am skeletal, […]

Posted in Poetry

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The Jewel Heist

From our Theft Issue, the tables turn as Mary Higgins Clark gets robbed.  Eighteen years ago, I decided to insure my jewelry. I realized that over the years I had gradually accumulated valuable rings, necklaces, bracelets, and pins. The reason for my treasure trove was that every year when I turned in the latest book […]

Posted in Lost & Found, Poetry

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Lost & Found: CJ Evans on Thomas James

More than thirty years ago Thomas James shot himself in the head, but this isn’t about that. When I was twenty-seven, Lucie Brock-Broido gave me, like she had given countless other poets over the years, a poorly xeroxed copy of James’s Letters to a Stranger, but this isn’t about that either. As I read him […]

Posted in Lost & Found, Poetry

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Before Surgery

Keep it on the DL, but a little bird told us Dorianne Laux might appear in our Summer 2016 issue. In celebration of these rumors, here is one of her fine poems from Issue 48. In another life you might hear the song of your neighbor clipping the hedges, a sound oddly pleasant, three coarse […]

Posted in From The Vault, Poetry

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Your Horoscope by Blakely and Jorg

As accurate now as it was when it first appeared in Tin House Issue 33: Fantastic Women. Aries—A harsh wind blows on the ram this year and heavy wool socks are strongly recommended. Hot potatoes work well too, and yelling at your delinquent daughters, who will pierce their tongues after the first Virgo moon. Taurus—Get a […]

Posted in Fiction, Poetry

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Heaven

1. It’s a book full of ghost children, safely dead, where dead means hidden, or wanting or not wanting to be known.   2. Heaven is symmetric with respect to rotation. It’s beautiful when one thing changes while another thing remains the same.   3. Fading redundnacies. Feathery runs. Alternate wisps. Imaginary sprung striations. Imaginary meaning […]

Posted in From The Vault, Poetry

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Nite Nite

None of the dolls could sleep. The braided rug dreamt of being a traveling companion. The snow stopped, briefly, on its way past the window. The mother and father did not touch each other, but each felt they could hear laughter coming from China, and the child felt knocked by the earth, and though she […]

Posted in From The Vault, Poetry

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Uses of the Elegiac, with Amy Gerstler

“How far can/will the elegy stretch?” Amy Gerstler asked our workshop participants this July. “Are there limits to what conventional or unconventional elegy can mourn, memorialize, honor, metabolize, question? Are there angry, comic, upbeat and/or love elegies? How about some stealth elegies?” In her quest to find out, Gerstler examined poems from Terrance Hayes, Li […]

Posted in Craft, Podcasts, Poetry, Workshops

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In the Museum of What I’ve Been Thinking

This whole night was Cannot Sleep and so you watched the bedroom window in the mirror and waited. Curtains rose and fell. Imagined sailing, and for a minute the bed was a boat to pilot, but the floor’s stagnant water and you ran aground. Outside, the streets are dark and darker. When I say you […]

Posted in Poetry

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The Best Greek God Is Us

THE BEST GREEK GOD IS US a few seconds ago I was watching a video in which the head of a person. crossing a street was cut off from the frame to make the viewer  wonder. whether it was a man or a woman or a human – either way I thought – well, isn’t […]

Posted in Broadside Thirty, Poetry

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Fire

As we continue to take applications for our upcoming fiction and nonfiction coastal workshops, we have been rolling out a series of posts featuring our stellar faculty. Today we get close to the heat with Nick Flynn’s poem from our Evil Issue. more the idea of the flame than the flame, as in: the flame of […]

Posted in From The Vault, Poetry, Workshops

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Building The Emotional Image, with Natalie Diaz

“An image is more than what we show our readers–it is story, it is history, it is emotion. When we seek the perfect image, we filter our writing and cut ourselves off from the possibilities of meaning and emotion–the things that make both the writer and the reader feel.”- Natalie Diaz In this craft talk, […]

Posted in Craft, Podcasts, Poetry, Workshops

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Because It’s October

  BECAUSE IT’S OCTOBER and I’m watching ambulance lights bathe a motel and not thinking about the loose glitter my body is, because everything inside me isn’t rattling like a change purse, not splitting into smaller versions of itself, small enough to be threaded through the eye of a needle, I think my brain is […]

Posted in Broadside Thirty, Poetry

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Columbus Day

In tribute to the one Chris Columbus we at Tin House can get behind.

Posted in General, Poetry, Videos

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Winehouse

  From Issue #58, a poem by Kevin Young.   Winehouse   I’m sick of Maybe, my baby daddy. Folks, I’m fed up with loss. With lists. First place with a bullet. My shoulders bear   Valerie, Valerie   a picture of my mother. Let us lose one another, our tattoos the only reminder. Far […]

Posted in From The Vault, General, Poetry

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I Like Weird-Ass Hippies

When we reach the other world
We will all be hippies
I like your weird-ass spirit stick that you carry around
I like when you rub sage on my door

Posted in From The Vault, Poetry

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Remembering C.K. Williams

I first met Charlie Williams during a poetry festival at Sarah Lawrence College the summer my first book came out. I was there with my brother Michael and our poetry mentors Dorianne Laux and Joseph Millar. I was excited and nervous to meet this man who had written so many poems that seemed to, and […]

Posted in General, Poetry

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Two Poems: Baby of the Mistaken Hue & It Creeps Back In

  From our Memory Issue, two poems by Patricia Smith. Baby of the Mistaken Hue   Baby of the mistaken hue, child of the wrong nose with its measure unleashed, baby of the nappy knot, I am your mother. Mad at your whole damned face, I swear to the task of torching the regrettable Delta […]

Posted in From The Vault, Poetry

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How to Tell If You Are a Literary Dick Disguised as a Pee You Ess Ess Why

From our recent Tribes issue, Thomas Sayers Ellis slams “the muzzled blank verse of symmetrical whiskers.” How to Tell If You Are a Literary Dick Disguised as a Pee You Ess Ess Why aaa for Walrus   After you’ve feasted on Christians and caesuras, “Style,” is what you call your cage, “Style,” as if, structurally, […]

Posted in Poetry

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The Art of the Sentence: Elizabeth Bishop

Every medium has its limitations, and the central limitation of writing is that readers can only apprehend one word at a time, in order. Because of this, we are denied the grand simultaneities permitted to other arts. A symphonic chord, with its dimensions of harmony and tone color and dynamics and duration, can be heard […]

Posted in Art of the Sentence, Poetry

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