Tuesday, September 5, 2023

Poets and Poems: Stephen Cushman and "Keep the Feast"

I’ve been reading about the Civil War Battle of the Wilderness, fought largely amid dense trees and shrubs north of Richmond, Virginia. Weather conditions had been dry that spring of 1864, and the artillery fire ignited the brush. Horrific conditions resulted. Many men burned to death; others barely made it out of the line of fire. It was the first military confrontation between Ulysses S. Grant and Robert E. Lee, and neither man was going to budge.  

One of the books I was reading was Bloody Promenade by Stephen Cushman. It’s less of a historical account and more a reflection upon the battle itself. Cushman lives and teaches not far away, in Charlottesville, Virginia, and he’s been long fascinated with the Civil War in general and that battle in particular.


He’s also a poet. When I read his book jacket biography, his name sounded familiar. Later, I saw his list of poetry collections, and I realized I had reviewed one of them, Riffraff: Poemshere at Tweetspeak.


His latest collection, Keep the Feast, was published last year. In an odd way, I’m glad I read Bloody Promenade first. It was published almost 25 years ago, but I can how the poet who reflected on a terrible, tragic Civil War battle would write the kinds of poems that comprise Keep the Feast.

To keep reading, please see my post today at Tweetspeak Poetry.

Some Tuesday Readings 


On Going Through Max’s Things – poem by Martin Rizley at Society of Classical Poets.


Derrick Porter, Hoxton Poet – Spitalfields Life.


Poetry Prompt: Back to School, in the Second Person – Tweetspeak Poetry.


What the Body Knows – poem by Jean Janzen at Kingdom Poets (D.S. Martin).

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