Poetry has long been used to celebrate love and family, but it has also always documented the dark times in human life.  Bob Hicok (Virginia Tech) worked for twenty years in the automotive industry.  His poems explore the lives of family and friends coping with economic devastation in Michigan.  Also: Many scholars have believed that nonsense literature in the vein of Lewis Carroll or Edward Gorey is a strictly English language innovation.  But Kevin Shortsleeve (Christopher Newport University) has a new book documenting nonsense literature from all over the world.  And: Lisa Russ Spaar (University of Virginia) explores how a familiar place changes through time in her poem Empty Nest.  Spaar is the recent winner of a Guggenheim Fellowship, and a frequent essayist on the subject of how poets’ personal examinations intersect with a desire to understand humanity.

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