Publishing Upside: The Baffler is Back, Jennifer Moxley’s New Book Clampdown

Author and historian Thomas Frank (What’s the Matter with Kansas?) is reviving his progressive cultural and political commentary magazine The Baffler. The magazine is slated to be published twice annually.

Jennifer Moxley - poet

Jennifer Moxley - 5-star poet

I hope Jennifer Moxley is still onboard as poetry editor. I thoroughly enjoyed her talk on Jack Spicer at the Poetry Project last month. Her latest book of poetry is Clampdown which is deservedly receiving rave reviews. Support poets!

Moxley is featured in the excellent Norton anthology American Hybrid which was edited by Cole Swensen and David St. John. The line-up of poets is truly exciting, fresh, and appealing – it’s the best Norton anthology ever!

In Women Poets on Mentorship, a collection of essays and poems edited Arielle Greenberg and Rachel Zucker, Moxley wrote an essay about her post-UCSD years in Providence, Rhode Island where she felt a lack of poetic community and writerly motivation. Moved to write to Susan Howe after becoming inspired by Howe’s Pythagorean Silence, Howe’s letter strengthened her resolve to become a poet.

Here is one of my favorite Moxley poems, first published in Jacket #2:

Æolian Harp

for and after John Wilkinson

Ribboning dreams unspool in a discarded heap
of oppressive gravity, remember when life
was still compelling, your talents in truck
for fealty, the luxurious future at hand, pastoral
lack of capital in the vernal fervor couched;
“make something of yourself,” for example a man
or a picture of archaic pride atop an old armoire,
“pull yourself up by your bootstraps,” as did those
bargained away first sons whose whims were nursed
by sins far worse than sacrifice, remember when
you thought yourself less played upon by circumstance,
little by little by literal evidence you’ve come to be
misplaced, the time it took to spin these words has
long since disappeared, befooled by work the reading
of which another dreamer will unspool, do take your place
in pushing back the clock, small perks won’t allow
a stay of revelation, the fear of ignorance has
become the vested knowledge of stupidity, choice
the slow extinction of your faculty for longing,
and the place you would go back to of an orbit unreal.


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