I rarely plug anything in this space, but today I’d like to announce a project that I hope will interest some readers. For a while now I’ve been working on a long, loosely structured narrative poem about a heartsick billionaire. It’s called The Travels of Blad J. Garamond.
I’m a little wary of defending The Great Gatsby. Not because I’m wary of the book, which I’ve loved with a passion since age sixteen, but because I can’t speak nearly as well on the book’s behalf as the book does. Gatsby doesn’t really need another reverent critic; it'll continue to be taught in classrooms and enjoyed by sensitive readers of every generation.
Well, if the New York Times Magazine can write a headline like that about fiction in January, why can't I borrow it for poetry in February? Anyway, it's true: Joshua Mehigan's "The Orange Bottle," published recently in Poetry magazine, is such a tour de force I doubt we'll see it surpassed in 2013.
Austin Allen is the editor of the Poetry Genius project at Rap Genius, as well as a former editor at Big Think. He holds an MFA in poetry from Johns Hopkins University, where he has also taught as a creative writing instructor. He lives in New York City and can be reached at austin [at] bigthink [dot] com.