Excerpt from

Song of the Tags

“Yesterday morning, root canal. That night,
a power failure. How lovely:

throwing up by candlelight.”
There are so many wonderful

titles for poems!
“Straw Votes on Burning Issues.”

“May Divorce Be with You.”
“Throwing Up by Candlelight.” The more I hear

my students’ lives, the more I understand
this game of theirs—of ours, for I do it


Albert Golbarth at Academy of American Poets

Albert Goldbarth at Poetry Foundation

Eric McHenry on Albert Goldbarth in Slate

What distinguishes most contemporary poetry from prose isn't meter or rhyme or even line breaks, but a self-conscious spareness and a slightly arch or elevated diction. These are the hallmarks of the poet laboring to achieve intensity, the byproducts of the "language distillation" process.

An Albert Goldbarth poem, by contrast, is wacky, talky, and fat.

Albert Goldbarth reads two poems (video)

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