Adam Plunkett
Assistant Literary Editor

Robert Frost Was Neither Light Nor Dark
June 13, 2014

He's worth reading because we're both.

The Contemporary Novel of Ideas Finds its Footing
March 13, 2014

Two recent novels by Nigerian expats have explored the limits of the novel of ideas.

What Happens When a Professor Tries To Use Philosophy to Prevent Suicide
November 22, 2013

A professor turns a blog post into a troubling book

The Poetry World's Most Indiscriminate Fanboy
October 26, 2013

Burt has written well about more poets than more or less anyone who isn’t twice his age. What's not to love?

An American Poet Outgrows Surrealism
July 27, 2013

Dean Young is one of the most distinguished mid-career poets in America. His new book of new and selected poems shows how he has emerged from a dire medical condition to write the best poems of his life.

The Science of the Science of Happiness
March 22, 2013

A researcher spent 38 years asking whether his college classmates were happy. You don't have to have been in his class to learn something from the results.

Sound Check: W.S. Merwin’s Love of Foreign Language
January 25, 2013

A translator who puts his mark on poems—a bit too strongly.

The Knife—The Sharp Poetry of Louise Glück
January 08, 2013

IF LOUISE GLUCK had released a Collected Poems a dozen years ago, we would have known what to make of her. She was a walking dysphemism, a blade without a handle, a poet so intent on “unmasking … the ordinary to reveal the tragic,” as she put it, that any sign of kindness prompted bitter cynicism. “Mothers weep at their daughters’ weddings,/ everyone knows that, though/ for whose youth one cannot say,” she wrote in 1985. “My father liked/ to stand like this, to hold me/ so he couldn’t see me” (1990).

Memory Babe: Kerouac’s Girlfriend Remembers
September 25, 2012

Johnson’s closeness to Kerouac is invaluable for Johnson the memoirist, it is limiting for Johnson the disinterested biographer.

Flightlessness and Eggs
July 25, 2012

Campbell McGrath has never been a difficult poet, but his early work was complex and often exciting for the ease with which readers could feel its com