Contemporaries Essays

Rueful Proximities: Lorine Niedecker, Queer Affection, and Lyric Drag

Lorine is not Bette nor Billie nor Marlene nor Lena nor Joan nor Judy. But, she is a queer icon. Niedecker’s iconicity stems from the distinctiveness of her habitus and…

The Marsh

[ bounce page ]

Niedecker’s New Goose: Settler Colonialism on the Cusp of the Great Acceleration

In the opening poem of her 1946 collection New Goose, Lorine Niedecker pulls her readers into the marsh and situates us in a very specific position — that of the…

Pumps and Plovers: Lorine Niedecker and the Critique of Cybernetic Ecology

In 1962, after more than fifteen years of living without running water, Lorine Niedecker finally got plumbing.1 The installation of pipes, toilet, and sink was a major event in the…

Poet’s Poet: Hoa Nguyen Alongside Lorine Niedecker

From the secret notes I must tilt  upon pressure execute and adjust1 One doesn’t possess poetry or a poet. Poet’s poet: does this mean a famous unknown celebrated by other relative unknowns?…

Another Long Stretch of Geologic Time: Lorine Niedecker’s “Lake Superior”

“Probably all it means is another long stretch of geologic time before anything really gets printed. The only time the lava flows is those moments while the poems are being…

Locating Lorine Niedecker: Found Among Friends

On a brilliant August day in Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin — a micropolis of 12,489, as of the last census, referred to succinctly by locals as Fort — we park across…

Sasha Steensen

Colorado Diamond If geological time is                          time times time,we have mined itnearby:the continent’s fifth largest diamond. Just 45…

Kerri Webster

Last summer I dropped my phone in the Payette River. There was no saving it, unlike the retrieved paycheck (“I knew a clean man”) sun-dried and flattened in Leaves of…

Stephanie Burt

There’s material in Niedecker’s body of work from which anybody could learn: concision, close observation, humility before objects of study — people — who change, and surprise us, and let us…