The HyperTexts

How are we doing? The HyperTexts has received approximately 11.2 million page views since January 2010 and is currently on pace to garner around 2.1 million page views over the next twelve months. If you'd like to see our most popular poets and pages, please click the hyperlink for a snapshot.

August 2018

My Memories of Joe Ruggier by Michael R. Burch

Pat Falk is an award-winning poet and professor at SUNY’s Nassau Community College in Garden City, New York where she teaches writing and literature. She’s the author of five books of poetry and prose, including the forthcoming A Common Violence from Finishing Line Press. Her work has appeared in several literary journals including The New York Times Book Review and Creative Nonfiction. American Book Review has called her writing “visionary,” creating “a new language.” She lives in Amityville, New York and maintains a website at patfalk.net.

Pashal Amuta lives in Ilorin, Nigeria. He goes by the moniker "Muse Son" on the Internet.

Glory Sasikala is a poet and writer currently residing in Chennai, Tamilnadu, India. She is the Editor and Publisher of the Monthly Online Prose and Poetry magazine GloMag and is the administrator of the group of the same name on Facebook. She is a language editor and quality analyst by profession.

Tom Merrill remains in the Spotlight with a new poem, "Mirage Magnetism."

Flabby Adjectives: Are Adjectives Bad and to be Avoided?

Famous Comebacks

Famous Geniuses

July 2018

My Memories of Joe Ruggier by Michael R. Burch

We regretfully announce the sudden passing of Joe M. Ruggier at the age of 61 on Sunday July 8, 2018. Joe was born in Malta on July 26, 1956 and emigrated to Canada in 1981. He married Maria Julia Raminhos Lourenco in 1984, with whom he raised their daughter, Sarah Thérèse. Joe attended St. Aloysius' College, then earned a B.A. in English with first class honours from the Royal University of Malta. He then continued his studies in Canada, earning a certificate in Writing and Publishing (SFU) and a Diploma in Typesetting (VCC). Joe wrote and published poetry in both Maltese and English, managed a small press, Multicultural Books of BC, and edited a poetry journal, The Eclectic Muse. His entrepreneurial spirit led him to publish dozens of titles, and he sold over 20,000 books, many of them door-to-door. Joe was committed to the written word, and to elevating the works of his peers and the poets he loved. In his final days he worked fervently, translating work by the Maltese priest, writer and poet, Dun Karm Psaila. Joe was passionate about his faith, his family—most especially his beloved Sarah Thérèse—international sports (soccer), languages, playing classical guitar and listening to his wide-ranging record collection.

Independence Day Poems and Songs

Let Freedom Sing!

Independence Day Thoughts: Blind Faith vs. Independent Thinking

Independence Day Madness

David B. Gosselin is a student of classics and languages in Montreal. He is also the founder and editor of The Chained Muse.

Iqbal Hashimi was born into a rural family in Paktia, Afghanistan, in 1996. When the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan, he moved to Pakistan where he lived for five years. When the Taliban regime was felled by American forces in 2001, he returned to Afghanistan. He currently attends the University of Paktia. He loves the English language and English poetry; therefore, he chose to seek a Bachelor's degree in English Literature. He has also attended a private English language center where he obtained first position in his class. He was subsequently asked by the center's director to teach there, which he did for three years. He then decided to create his own English language teaching center. He has also taught English at the Paktia Press Club (PPC), where many journalists and attorneys learn English. His future plan is to obtain a Master's degree in English literature via a Fulbright scholarship in the US. He also hopes to become a professional English author and editor.

Al-Qassim Abdulsalam remains in our Spotlight with his latest poem, "African Child."

Sunil Sharma is a Principal at Bharat College (affiliated with the University of Mumbai, Mumbai) at Badlapur, Mumbai Metropolitan Region, India.

Tom Merrill remains in the Spotlight with four recent poems: "Highway Litter," "Our Ranking Bamboozler," "Antagonists" and "The Ultimate Con Man."

Kyrielle Definition, Examples and History

The Best Book Titles of All Time

June 2018

Al-Qassim Abdulsalam is back in our Spotlight with a compelling new poem, "African Child."

Sunil Sharma is a Principal at Bharat College (affiliated with the University of Mumbai, Mumbai) at Badlapur, Mumbai Metropolitan Region, India. His expertise is in Persian and Indian poetry. He is a bilingual critic, poet, literary interviewer, editor, translator, essayist and fiction writer. His short stories and poems have appeared in journals such as Hudson View (South Africa), The Plebian Rag and Bicycle Review (USA), Creative Saplings, Brown Critique and Kritya (India), the Seva Bharati Journal of English Studies (West Bengal), Labyrinth (Gwalior) and Poets International (Bangalore). Some of his poems and short stories have been anthologized in national and international collections. He is also a freelance journalist and serves on the advisory boards of international literary and online journals.

Tom Merrill remains in the Spotlight with four new poems: "Highway Litter," "Our Ranking Bamboozler," "Antagonists" and "The Ultimate Con Man."

A Brief Defense of Punctuation by Michael R. Burch

Poetry: The State of the Art (with a Little Horn Tootin') by Michael R. Burch (recently updated after the surprising and encouraging results of NEA research were published)

Human Perfection: Is It Possible?

VOLTAIRE by Clarence Darrow is an "unabashed tribute" to a champion of free speech, equality and social justice by a literary critic better known for his work as a defense attorney in the Scopes Monkey Trial and for defending teenage "thrill killers" Leopold and Leob in their sensational "trial of the century."

Words That Burn is an online poetry anthology and human rights educational resource for students and teachers created by Amnesty International in partnership with The Poetry Hour. "The Little Boy with His Hands Up" by Holocaust survivor and longtime THT contributor Yala Korwin is included (5 Burn 3), as is "First They Came for the Muslims" by THT founder Michael R. Burch (7 Burn 3), immediately beneath the famous Holocaust poem that inspired it, "First They Came" by Martin Niemöller.

May 2018

Poems for Santa Fe High School Shooting Victims and Their Families

The Best Memorial Day Poems and Songs

Al-Qassim Abdulsalam is a Nigerian poet, born in 1992 in Dekina, a local government area of Kogi State, Nigeria. He is a graduate of Kogi State University and currently lives in Abuja, Nigeria, in the western part of Africa. He calls himself the "Bloody Poet" and has written many poems yet to be published. "My Mentor and I" is a poem he has dedicated to his mentor, Professor Wole Soyinka, for whom he has an undying love.

Tom Merrill remains in the Spotlight with four new poems: "Highway Litter," "Our Ranking Bamboozler," "Antagonists" and "The Ultimate Con Man."

The Best Mother's Day Poems

The Best Lyrical Poems

The Best Lyric Poetry

Parkland Poems

VOLTAIRE by Clarence Darrow is an "unabashed tribute" to a champion of free speech, equality and social justice by a literary critic better known for his work as a defense attorney in the Scopes Monkey Trial and for defending teenage "thrill killers" Leopold and Leob in their sensational "trial of the century." Darrow was also a leading member of the American Civil Liberties Union, a founding attorney for the NAACP, an advocate of free love who practiced what he preached, a staunch opponent of the death penalty, and, like Voltaire, a champion of underdogs and their right to a fair shake. During his heyday as a defense attorney in Chicago, Darrow represented more than 100 defendants and lost only one murder case. He was renowned for moving juries (and sometimes judges) to tears with his eloquence.

Words That Burn is an online poetry anthology and human rights educational resource for students and teachers created by Amnesty International in partnership with The Poetry Hour. We are very pleased to announce that the poem "The Little Boy with His Hands Up" by Holocaust survivor and longtime THT contributor Yala Korwin is now included (5 Burn 3). The poem "First They Came for the Muslims" by THT founder Michael R. Burch is also now online (7 Burn 3), immediately beneath the famous Holocaust poem that inspired it, "First They Came" by Martin Niemöller (also 7 Burn 3). Amnesty International is the world’s largest human rights organization with seven million supporters. Its new webpage has been designed to "enable young people to explore human rights through poetry whilst developing their voice and skills as poets." This exemplary resource was inspired by the poetry anthology Words that Burn, curated by Josephine Hart of The Poetry Hour, with a title taken from Thomas Gray's observation that "Poetry is thoughts that breathe and words that burn."

April 2018

Tom Merrill remains in the Spotlight with four new poems: "Highway Litter," "Our Ranking Bamboozler," "Antagonists" and "The Ultimate Con Man."

Al-Qassim Abdulsalam is a Nigerian poet, born in 1992 in Dekina, a local government area of Kogi State, Nigeria. He is a graduate of Kogi State University and currently lives in Abuja, Nigeria, in the western part of Africa. He calls himself the "Bloody Poet" and has written many poems yet to be published. "MY MENTOR AND I" is a poem he has dedicated to his mentor, Professor Wole Soyinka, for whom he has an undying love.

Jean L. Kreiling is the author of two collections of poetry, The Truth in Dissonance (2014) and Arts & Letters & Love (2018). Her work has appeared widely in print and online journals, including American Arts Quarterly, Angle, The Evansville Review, Measure, and Mezzo Cammin, and in several anthologies. Kreiling is a past winner of the Able Muse Write Prize, the Great Lakes Commonwealth of Letters Sonnet Contest, two New England Poetry Club prizes, and the String Poet Prize; she is a six-time finalist for the Howard Nemerov Sonnet Award. Kreiling teaches music history at Bridgewater State University; her interdisciplinary essays on music and poetry have appeared in several academic journals.

Parkland Poems

England's Greatest Artists

The Best Abstract Poetry

March 2018

Tom Merrill returns to the Spotlight with three new poems: "Our Ranking Bamboozler," "Antagonists" and "The Ultimate Con Man."

Al-Qassim Abdulsalam is a Nigerian poet, born in 1992 in Dekina, a local government area of Kogi State, Nigeria. He is a graduate of Kogi State University and currently lives in Abuja, Nigeria, in the western part of Africa. He calls himself the "Bloody Poet" and has written many poems yet to be published. "MY MENTOR AND I" is a poem he has dedicated to his mentor, Professor Wole Soyinka, for whom he has an undying love.

Jean L. Kreiling is the author of two collections of poetry, The Truth in Dissonance (2014) and Arts & Letters & Love (2018). Her work has appeared widely in print and online journals, including American Arts Quarterly, Angle, The Evansville Review, Measure, and Mezzo Cammin, and in several anthologies. Kreiling is a past winner of the Able Muse Write Prize, the Great Lakes Commonwealth of Letters Sonnet Contest, two New England Poetry Club prizes, and the String Poet Prize; she is a six-time finalist for the Howard Nemerov Sonnet Award. Kreiling teaches music history at Bridgewater State University; her interdisciplinary essays on music and poetry have appeared in several academic journals.

We Call BS! is an eloquent, impassioned speech made by Emma Gonzalez, a survivor of the recent Parkland, Florida massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

Parkland Poems

VOLTAIRE by Clarence Darrow is an "unabashed tribute" to a champion of free speech, equality and social justice by a literary critic better known for his work as a defense attorney in the Scopes Monkey Trial and for defending teenage "thrill killers" Leopold and Leob in their sensational "trial of the century." Darrow was also a leading member of the American Civil Liberties Union, a founding attorney for the NAACP, an advocate of free love who practiced what he preached, a staunch opponent of the death penalty, and, like Voltaire, a champion of underdogs and their right to a fair shake. During his heyday as a defense attorney in Chicago, Darrow represented more than 100 defendants and lost only one murder case. He was renowned for moving juries (and sometimes judges) to tears with his eloquence.

Words That Burn is an online poetry anthology and human rights educational resource for students and teachers created by Amnesty International in partnership with The Poetry Hour. We are very pleased to announce that the poem "The Little Boy with His Hands Up" by Holocaust survivor and longtime THT contributor Yala Korwin is now included (5 Burn 3). The poem "First They Came for the Muslims" by THT founder Michael R. Burch is also now online (7 Burn 3), immediately beneath the famous Holocaust poem that inspired it, "First They Came" by Martin Niemöller (also 7 Burn 3). Amnesty International is the world’s largest human rights organization with seven million supporters. Its new webpage has been designed to "enable young people to explore human rights through poetry whilst developing their voice and skills as poets." This exemplary resource was inspired by the poetry anthology Words that Burn, curated by Josephine Hart of The Poetry Hour, with a title taken from Thomas Gray's observation that "Poetry is thoughts that breathe and words that burn."

February 2018

We Call BS! is an eloquent, impassioned speech made by Emma Gonzalez, a survivor of the recent Parkland, Florida massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

Child of 9-11 by Michael R. Burch was written for a young victim of another senseless massacre.

Parkland Poems

Barbara Lydecker Crane was a graphic designer and then, for many years, a fabric artist, designing and sewing landscape quilts for wall display. In 1995 she was awarded a New England Foundation for the Arts Regional Fellowship in Visual Arts. She started writing formal poetry in 2005, finding it a refreshing change from fabric art—yet similar in its slow, collage-like process. She still enjoys artmaking, and has enough fabric stashed away to last several lifetimes. Barb has published three chapbooks: Zero Gravitas (White Violet Press, 2012), Alphabetricks (Daffydowndilly Press, 2013) and BackWords Logic (Local Gems Press, 2017). Serious and light (and sometimes both), her poems have appeared in America, American Arts Quarterly, Atlanta Review, First Things, Light, Measure, Mezzo Cammin, Parody, Rattle and Think Journal, among many other print and online journals, and in several anthologies. Her poetry honors include winning the 2011 Helen Schaible International Sonnet Contest and receiving 2016 and 2014 Laureate’s Choice awards and the 2017 Humor Prize from the Maria W. Faust Sonnet Contest. She was a finalist for the 2017 Rattle Readers’ Choice Award. A resident of the Boston area, she is a member of the Newburyport, MA workshop Powow River Poets. She and her husband Bill, a retired lawyer turned hospital chaplain, have two daughters and four grandchildren.

Adi Wolfson is an eco-poetry pioneer. In addition to being a poet, he is also an environmental activist, an expert on sustainability, and a professor of chemical engineering. Wolfson has published four poetry books and has won several awards, including Israel's prestigious Levi Eshkol Prize for Literature. Wolfson also writes a regular column on environmental issues at YNET and was awarded a "Green Globe" by Life and Environment, an umbrella organization that works with more than a hundred Israeli "green" groups. Dead Sea—Bureaucracy is a project that asks readers to increase global awareness about the increasingly bad conditions of the Dead Sea, and to be a voice for the Sea. "Bureaucracy" is an eco-poem, a poem that speaks for nature and not just about nature, written originally in Hebrew by Adi Wolfson. By sharing, using, translating and reading the poem, you can make a difference and lead a change. Please help us translate the poem into all languages in the world! To participate in this global project, you can visit Adi Wolfson's Dead Sea—Bureaucracy website or his Facebook page.

Brian Allgar, although immutably English, has lived in Paris since 1982. He started entering Spectator and New Statesman competitions in 1967, but took a 35-year break, finally re-emerging in 2011 as a kind of Rip Van Winkle of the literary competition world. He also drinks malt whisky and writes music, which may explain his fondness for Mendelssohn’s “Scottish” Symphony.

The Seafarer: A Modern English Translation by Michael R. Burch

Valentine's Day Poems contains poems you can share with that "special someone," entirely free of charge.

Sappho was one of the earliest and best love poets; she may also have been the first "make love, not war" poet.

The Love Song of Shu-Sin: The Earth's Oldest Love Poem?

Urdu Love Poetry: Modern English Translations by Michael R. Burch

The Best Love Songs: One Man's Opinion

Poetry Definitions and Examples

VOLTAIRE by Clarence Darrow is an "unabashed tribute" to a champion of free speech, equality and social justice by a literary critic better known for his work as a defense attorney in the Scopes Monkey Trial and for defending teenage "thrill killers" Leopold and Leob in their sensational "trial of the century." Darrow was also a leading member of the American Civil Liberties Union, a founding attorney for the NAACP, an advocate of free love who practiced what he preached, a staunch opponent of the death penalty, and, like Voltaire, a champion of underdogs and their right to a fair shake. During his heyday as a defense attorney in Chicago, Darrow represented more than 100 defendants and lost only one murder case. He was renowned for moving juries (and sometimes judges) to tears with his eloquence.

Words That Burn is an online poetry anthology and human rights educational resource for students and teachers created by Amnesty International in partnership with The Poetry Hour. We are very pleased to announce that the poem "The Little Boy with His Hands Up" by Holocaust survivor and longtime THT contributor Yala Korwin is now included (5 Burn 3). The poem "First They Came for the Muslims" by THT founder Michael R. Burch is also now online (7 Burn 3), immediately beneath the famous Holocaust poem that inspired it, "First They Came" by Martin Niemöller (also 7 Burn 3). Amnesty International is the world’s largest human rights organization with seven million supporters. Its new webpage has been designed to "enable young people to explore human rights through poetry whilst developing their voice and skills as poets." This exemplary resource was inspired by the poetry anthology Words that Burn, curated by Josephine Hart of The Poetry Hour, with a title taken from Thomas Gray's observation that "Poetry is thoughts that breathe and words that burn."

Donald Trump and Benito Mussolini: Striking Parallels

Poetry: The State of the Art (with a Little Horn Tootin') by Michael R. Burch

Robert Frost's "Directive" — Theme, Summary and Analysis

January 2018

New Year Poetry

Famous Poems about Drinking has been updated with "Song of the Alleycat" by Tom Merrill and several other poems and songs.

The Seafarer: A Modern English Translation by Michael R. Burch

The Most Popular Poems of All Time

Shekhar Aiyar was born in India and educated at Delhi, Oxford and Brown Universities. His work has appeared in Atlanta Review, Able Muse, The Formalist, The New Formalist, Avatar Review, and several journals in England, Sri Lanka and Canada. His first collection of poems, Continental Drift, was published by Writer’s Workshop, Calcutta. He lives in Washington, DC.

Michael Seeger is a poet and educator residing in the Coachella Valley near Palm Springs, California. Prior to his life as a middle school English instructor, he worked as a technical writer for a baseball card company and served as a Marine infantry officer during Desert Storm.

Tom Merrill returns to the Spotlight with a new poem, "Soul Brothers," which speaks of a vision shared with Abul 'Ala Al-Ma'aari, the great Arab poet and philosopher.

The HyperTexts recently passed 10 million page views. Our twenty most popular contemporary poets, as of December 31, 2017, were:

Yala Korwin (over 38,000 page views!)
Michael R. Burch
Leonard Nimoy
Richard Moore
Luis Omar Salinas
Nadia Anjuman
Tom Merrill
A. E. Stallings
Richard Blanco
R. S. Gwynn
X. J. Kennedy
Fadwa Tuqan
Robert Mezey
Rhina P. Espaillat
Mahmoud Darwish
Sophie Hannah Jones
Janet Kenny
Iqbal Tamimi
John Whitworth
Julie Kane

Poets in our top forty include Jared Carter, Jack Butler, A. M. Juster, Ann Drysdale, J. Patrick Lewis, Norman R. Shapiro, Bruce Weigl, Judy Jones, Greg Alan Brownderville, Jennifer Reeser, Janet Kenny, Michael McClintock, Quincy R. Lehr, Richard Wakefield, Joseph S. Salemi, Gail White, Jim Barnes, George Held, Ellaraine Lockie and Catherine Chandler. If you'd like to see where your favorite poets ended up in our rankings of the most popular poets and pages, please click the hyperlink. To read poems by any of the poets listed above, just click their hyperlinked names. It's an eclectic group, to say the least. Richard Moore, Alicia Stallings, Rhina P. Espaillat, Sam Gwynn and Joe Kennedy are among the better-known American formalists. Or, as they are often called, New Formalists. Tom Merrill and Robert Mezey are American poets who write both formal and free verse. Luis Omar Salinas and Richard Blanco are Hispanic-Americans known primarily for free verse. Julie Kane is a "semi-formalist" who recently edited a book of "subversive verse" called Nasty Women Poets. Nadia Anjuman was a very talented, up-and-coming young Afghani poet who survived the Taliban only to be murdered―it is suspected―by her own family, for daring to speak her mind publicly. Leonard Nimoy was, of course, universally famous as Mr. Spock. But he was also a renaissance man, writing moving free verse and taking some stunning photographs that THT was fortunate to be able to publish through a family connection (his family, not ours). Janet Kenny, an Australian, has been an artist, professional singer, peace activist and poet. John Whitworth is a British poet who specializes in light verse, albeit some of it very dark. Sophie Hannah Jones is a British writer of crime thrillers and poems. Yala Korwin was a Jewish Holocaust survivor who wrote passionately and eloquently on the subject. Mahmoud Darwish, Fadwa Tuqan and Iqbal Tamimi are Palestinian poets who have written passionately and eloquently about their suffering at the hands of Israeli Jews in a continuing Holocaust, the Nakba. (The Hebrew word "holocaust" and the Arabic word "nakba" both mean "catastrophe.") Michael R. Burch is an editor, publisher and translator of Holocaust and Nakba poetry, who has at times been caught in a verbal crossfire (no bullets, bombs or fisticuffs to date).

VOLTAIRE by Clarence Darrow is an "unabashed tribute" to a champion of free speech, equality and social justice by a literary critic better known for his work as a defense attorney in the Scopes Monkey Trial and for defending teenage "thrill killers" Leopold and Leob in their sensational "trial of the century." Darrow was also a leading member of the American Civil Liberties Union, a founding attorney for the NAACP, an advocate of free love who practiced what he preached, a staunch opponent of the death penalty, and, like Voltaire, a champion of underdogs and their right to a fair shake. During his heyday as a defense attorney in Chicago, Darrow represented more than 100 defendants and lost only one murder case. He was renowned for moving juries (and sometimes judges) to tears with his eloquence.

Words That Burn is an online poetry anthology and human rights educational resource for students and teachers created by Amnesty International in partnership with The Poetry Hour. We are very pleased to announce that the poem "The Little Boy with His Hands Up" by Holocaust survivor and longtime THT contributor Yala Korwin is now included (5 Burn 3). The poem "First They Came for the Muslims" by THT founder Michael R. Burch is also now online (7 Burn 3), immediately beneath the famous Holocaust poem that inspired it, "First They Came" by Martin Niemöller (also 7 Burn 3). Amnesty International is the world’s largest human rights organization with seven million supporters. Its new webpage has been designed to "enable young people to explore human rights through poetry whilst developing their voice and skills as poets." This exemplary resource was inspired by the poetry anthology Words that Burn, curated by Josephine Hart of The Poetry Hour, with a title taken from Thomas Gray's observation that "Poetry is thoughts that breathe and words that burn."

Tommy Bissonnette has now published his first three poems with The HyperTexts. He has also worked on stage and screen. And he's looking for gainful employment, if anyone is hiring!

Coming Out Timeline/Chronology

Donald Trump Racism and Sexism Timeline/Chronology

Crucial Moments in Music History: A Musical Chronology/Timeline

The Ten Greatest Poems Ever Written (in one man's opinion)

Famous Synchronicities & Eerie Coincidences

December 2017


Tommy Bissonnette is publishing his first two poems with The HyperTexts. He has also worked on stage and screen. And he's looking for gainful employment, if anyone is hiring!

Tom Merrill remains in our Spotlight with five new poems: "Huit Clos," "The Suspicion of Being Noticed," "Our Bodies Are Our Sworn Enemies," "The Grand Bequeathal" and "The Misfit's Lot."

Ambrose Philips was an English poet who had a running feud with Alexander Pope and was mocked in The Dunciad as Namby-Pamby. Apparently Pope didn't appreciate suggestions by other poets that Philips' pastorals were better than his! While I'm not an avid reader of pastorals, Philips caught my eye―and my ear―with his translations of two poems by Sappho that struck me as good indeed. As a matter of fact, his "Hymn to Venus" is the best translation I've found of Sappho's only fully intact longer poem.―MRB

The Children of Gaza: a Song Cycle
by Eduard de Boer and Michael R. Burch
with vocals by Palestinian soprano Dima Bawab
has been performed recently in Hoorn, the Hague
and Amsterdam.

VOLTAIRE by Clarence Darrow is an "unabashed tribute" to a champion of free speech, equality and social justice by a literary critic better known for his work as a defense attorney in the Scopes Monkey Trial and for defending teenage "thrill killers" Leopold and Leob in their sensational "trial of the century." Darrow was also a leading member of the American Civil Liberties Union, a founding attorney for the NAACP, an advocate of free love who practiced what he preached, a staunch opponent of the death penalty, and, like Voltaire, a champion of underdogs and their right to a fair shake. During his heyday as a defense attorney in Chicago, Darrow represented more than 100 defendants and lost only one murder case. He was renowned for moving juries (and sometimes judges) to tears with his eloquence.

Words That Burn is an online poetry anthology and human rights educational resource for students and teachers created by Amnesty International in partnership with The Poetry Hour. We are very pleased to announce that the poem "The Little Boy with His Hands Up" by Holocaust survivor and longtime THT contributor Yala Korwin is now included (5 Burn 3). The poem "First They Came for the Muslims" by THT founder Michael R. Burch is also now online (7 Burn 3), immediately beneath the famous Holocaust poem that inspired it, "First They Came" by Martin Niemöller (also 7 Burn 3). Amnesty International is the world’s largest human rights organization with seven million supporters. Its new webpage has been designed to "enable young people to explore human rights through poetry whilst developing their voice and skills as poets." This exemplary resource was inspired by the poetry anthology Words that Burn, curated by Josephine Hart of The Poetry Hour, with a title taken from Thomas Gray's observation that "Poetry is thoughts that breathe and words that burn." 

How to Write a Real Good Poem by R. S. Gwano contains his deeply-thought-out reflections on Dr. Joseph Salemi's "The Hard Edges of a Poem." Now, some of us thought the State Pen Review was a bit hard on Gwano and presented his first poem in an unflattering light. But to show that there are no ill feelings on his part, and to demonstrate that he is a quick and willing learner, Gwano sat at the master's feet, soaked up his considerable inspiration, and―we think―really delivered the goods this time. Dr. Salemi will undoubtedly be proud and pleased as punch to have been understood so profoundly!

Coming Out Timeline/Chronology

Richard Wilbur (1921-2017)

David Berman (1934-2017)

Free Verse Timeline

November 2017

The Children of Gaza: a Song Cycle
by Eduard de Boer and Michael R. Burch
with vocals by Dima Bawab, a Palestinian soprano,
has been performed recently in Hoorn, the Hague
and Amsterdam.

VOLTAIRE by Clarence Darrow is an "unabashed tribute" to a champion of free speech, equality and social justice by a literary critic better known for his work as a defense attorney in the Scopes Monkey Trial and for defending teenage "thrill killers" Leopold and Leob in their sensational "trial of the century." Darrow was also a leading member of the American Civil Liberties Union, a founding attorney for the NAACP, an advocate of free love who practiced what he preached, a staunch opponent of the death penalty, and, like Voltaire, a champion of underdogs and their right to a fair shake. During his heyday as a defense attorney in Chicago, Darrow represented more than 100 defendants and lost only one murder case. He was renowned for moving juries (and sometimes judges) to tears with his eloquence.

Words That Burn is an online poetry anthology and human rights educational resource for students and teachers created by Amnesty International in partnership with The Poetry Hour. We are very pleased to announce that the poem "The Little Boy with His Hands Up" by Holocaust survivor and longtime THT contributor Yala Korwin is now included (5 Burn 3). The poem "First They Came for the Muslims" by THT founder Michael R. Burch is also now online (7 Burn 3), immediately beneath the famous Holocaust poem that inspired it, "First They Came" by Martin Niemöller (also 7 Burn 3). Amnesty International is the world’s largest human rights organization with seven million supporters. Its new webpage has been designed to "enable young people to explore human rights through poetry whilst developing their voice and skills as poets." This exemplary resource was inspired by the poetry anthology Words that Burn, curated by Josephine Hart of The Poetry Hour, with a title taken from Thomas Gray's observation that "Poetry is thoughts that breathe and words that burn." 

How to Write a Real Good Poem by R. S. Gwano contains his deeply-thought-out reflections on Dr. Joseph Salemi's "The Hard Edges of a Poem." Now, some of us thought the State Pen Review was a bit hard on Gwano and presented his first poem in an unflattering light. But to show that there are no ill feelings on his part, and to demonstrate that he is a quick and willing learner, Gwano sat at the master's feet, soaked up his considerable inspiration, and―we think―really delivered the goods this time. Dr. Salemi will undoubtedly be proud and pleased as punch to have been understood so profoundly!

Coming Out Timeline/Chronology

Richard Wilbur (1921-2017)

David Berman (1934-2017)

Gail White is back in our Spotlight with a new poem―or at least one new to our pages―called "Resemblances." I was so taken with "Resemblances" that I felt compelled to add it to our Best of The HyperTexts page right away.―Michael R. Burch

Rhina P. Espaillat returns to the Spotlight with a new poem, "Cutting Bait."

Peggy Landsman is back in the spotlight with some new "cosmic" poems, which appear on her page after her Holocaust poems. 

Ambrose Philips was an English poet who had a running feud with Alexander Pope and was featured in The Dunciad as Namby-Pamby.

The return of the Glob Blog: "Everything including the Kitchen Sink and sometimes the Garbage Disposal!"


October 2017

The Best Poems of Digby Dolben is a must-read page if you like the idea of uncovering and recovering long-forgotten gems by neglected poets. We had heard the name Digby Dolben as a possible love interest of Gerard Manley Hopkins, but knew nothing else about him. Then, thanks to research by Simon Edge, our advisory editor Tom Merrill became aware that Dolben was not only a poet, but an exceptional poet in our opinion, even though he drowned at age nineteen. Fortunately, the prodigy's poems were collected and published by an English poet laureate, Robert Bridges, who also published the poems of Hopkins. (The literary world owes Bridges two thunderous rounds of applause.) We have also published a Digby Dolben Bio written by Simon Edge.

Puerto Rico Hurricane Poetry

HENRY WADSWORTH LONGFELLOW: His Last Poem

My Colorful Bible: Is the Bible the Word of God?

Words That Burn is an online poetry anthology and human rights educational resource for students and teachers created by Amnesty International in partnership with The Poetry Hour. We are very pleased to announce that the poem "The Little Boy with His Hands Up" by Holocaust survivor and longtime THT contributor Yala Korwin is now included (5 Burn 3). The poem "First They Came for the Muslims" by THT founder Michael R. Burch is also now online (7 Burn 3), immediately beneath the famous Holocaust poem that inspired it, "First They Came" by Martin Niemöller (also 7 Burn 3). Amnesty International is the world’s largest human rights organization with seven million supporters. Its new webpage has been designed to "enable young people to explore human rights through poetry whilst developing their voice and skills as poets." This exemplary resource was inspired by the poetry anthology Words that Burn, curated by Josephine Hart of The Poetry Hour, which in turn was inspired by Thomas Gray's observation that "Poetry is thoughts that breathe and words that burn." 

Richard Wilbur (1921-2017)

Coming Out Timeline/Chronology

Gail White is back in our Spotlight with a new poem―or at least one new to our pages―called "Resemblances." I was so taken with "Resemblances" that I felt compelled to add it to our Best of The HyperTexts page right away.―Michael R. Burch

September 2017


Tom Merrill: Recognizing a Rare Voice by Michael R. Burch

For a brief but very interesting bio of the "boy genius" poet Digby Mackworth Dolben, written by Simon Edge, please click here: Digby Dolben Bio. To read his work, please click here: The Best Poems of Digby Mackworth Dolben.

Early Poems: The Best Juvenilia

VOLTAIRE by Clarence Darrow is an "unabashed tribute" to a champion of free speech, equality and social justice by a literary critic better known for his work as a defense attorney in the Scopes Monkey Trial and for defending teenage "thrill killers" Leopold and Leob in their sensational "trial of the century." Darrow was also a leading member of the American Civil Liberties Union, a founding attorney for the NAACP, an advocate of free love who practiced what he preached, a staunch opponent of the death penalty, and, like Voltaire, a champion of underdogs and their right to a fair shake. During his heyday as a defense attorney in Chicago, Darrow represented more than 100 defendants and only lost one murder case. He was renowned for moving juries (and sometimes judges) to tears with his eloquence.

Peggy Landsman is the author of a poetry chapbook, To-wit To-woo (Foothills Publishing), and an out-of-print romance novel, Passion’s Professor (Midnight Showcase), which she wrote under the pen name Samantha Rhodes. Her poetry, short fiction, and creative nonfiction have been published in many online and print literary journals and anthologies, including Bigger Than They Appear: Anthology of Very Short Poems (Accents Publishing), Breathe: 101 Contemporary Odes (C&R Press), The Muse Strikes Back (Story Line Press), and Nasty Women Poets: An Unapologetic Anthology of Subversive Verse (Lost Horse Press). She lives in South Florida, where she swims in the warm Atlantic Ocean every chance she gets.

Miklós Radnóti: Modern English Translations of Holocaust Poems

Words That Burn, an online resource for students and educators created by Amnesty International in partnership with The Poetry Hour, will include "First They Came for the Muslims" by THT founder Michael R. Burch.

Langston Hughes was one of the best and most influential American poets. While he is best known today for his innovative "jazz poetry" and as a leading figure of the Harlem Renaissance, Hughes actually spent most of his childhood in Lawrence, Kansas. In his 1940 autobiography The Big Sea he wrote: "I was unhappy for a long time, and very lonesome, living with my grandmother. Then it was that books began to happen to me, and I began to believe in nothing but books and the wonderful world in books — where if people suffered, they suffered in beautiful language, not in monosyllables, as we did in Kansas." The descendent of enslaved African Americans and their white enslavers on his father's side, Hughes spoke both frankly and passionately about the problems of race in America. And he spoke eloquently in a highly original voice that continues to influence American poetry and music to this day.

Jack Arkell is a poet and writer from Birmingham, England. He has performed poetry from underground bars in Seoul to vegan cafes in Manchester, headlining events across the UK. He has been published in Anapest, Inigo Online, Blunderwoman, Under the Fable, Outsider, Better Than Starbucks, Starving Artist and 12 Point Collective. He has CDs entitled Poets Are The Worst Type of People and A Mood I Try to Capture.

Tom Merrill remains in our Spotlight with five new poems: "Huit Clos," "The Suspicion of Being Noticed," "Our Bodies Are Our Sworn Enemies," "The Grand Bequeathal" and "The Misfit's Lot."

August 2017

Words That Burn, an online resource for students and educators created by Amnesty International in partnership with The Poetry Hour, will include "First They Came for the Muslims" by THT founder Michael R. Burch.

Langston Hughes was one of the best and most influential American poets, irrespective of race.

Tom Merrill returns to the Spotlight with four new poems: "The Suspicion of Being Noticed," "Our Bodies Are Our Sworn Enemies," "The Grand Bequeathal" and "The Misfit's Lot."

Louise Bogan has long been one of my favorite poets, and it's a shame (actually, a complete and utter travesty) that she isn't better known today. In my opinion she's a major poet; at least two other critics agree, as she has been called "the most accomplished woman poet of the twentieth century" and "one of the finest lyric poets America has produced." On this page we have published some of her finest poems, including the lovely but hard-to-find "After the Persian," followed by an essay by Jeffrey Woodward on Bogan's poem "The Mark." — Michael R. Burch, editor, The HyperTexts

Usha Chandrasekharan graduated with a degree in Economics, having also taken a short-term course in Journalism and another shorter one in concept selling. She worked with a Kolkata, India information marketing company and later joined Scholastic India as an educational coordinator. Her education for the greater part has been consolidated "on the street." Communicating at all levels is her forte. She has lived life mostly on her own terms, with no regrets. Poetry and short stories are her pastime, although she says, "I am not prolific like most writers."

Eric Mellen is a freelance writer who currently writes poems and short stories. He has been published by Poetry Quarterly, Poetry Life & Times and Nostrovia! Poetry and is currently pursuing multiple publishing opportunities. When he is not writing, he is studying English at Athens State University and hopes to be a technical writer.

Miklos Radnoti: Modern English Translations of Holocaust Poems

July 2017

Independence Day Poems and Songs

Let Freedom Sing!

Independence Day Thoughts: Blind Faith vs. Independent Thinking

Independence Day Madness

We have added a new poem, "Small Child," to the poetry page of Vera Ignatowitsch. Vera loves poetry and has been writing it for decades; however, she has only recently begun to submit poems for publication. Her poetry has appeared in The Lyric, two anthologies, and in online publications. She is also the Formal & Rhyming Poetry Editor for Better Than Starbucks.

June 2017

Conor Kelly was born in Dublin and spent his adult life teaching in a school in the Dublin suburbs. He retired to a small village in the Charente region of France to play boules, sample the local cuisine and run his twitter site, @poemtoday, which is dedicated to the short poem. He has had numerous poems published in Ireland and abroad in such magazines as Poetry Ireland Review, Boyne Berries, The Honest Ulsterman, Revival (Limerick), The Irish Times, Envoi, The
Huffington Post, The Southern Review
(Louisiana) and The Ofi Press (Mexico City). He has also been a poetry critic for The Irish Times, The Sunday Tribune (Dublin) and Poetry Review (London). He was once shortlisted for a Hennessy New Irish Writers award. At the ceremony one of the judges, Fay Weldon, asked him, “Where are you in these poems?” He is still asking himself that same question.

Vera Ignatowitsch loves poetry and has been writing it for decades; however, she has only recently begun to submit poems for publication. Her poetry has appeared in The Lyric, two anthologies, and in online publications. She is also the Formal & Rhyming Poetry Editor for Better Than Starbucks.

Miklos Radnoti: Modern English Translations of Holocaust Poems

Vera Pavlova is a contemporary Russian poet, born in Moscow. She is a graduate of the Schnittke College of Music and the Gnessin Academy of Music, where she specialized in music history. She has worked as a guide at the Shaliapin Museum in Moscow and has published several essays on music. She began writing poetry at age twenty, after the birth of her first daughter, while she was still at the maternity ward. 

S. Sel-yksir, the young Burmese poet who debuted with THT in February, has submitted a new poem, "Ode to O'Reilly," which refers to a poem published by the Pennsylvania Review by one "Ass Elixir."

May 2017

S. Sel-yksir, the young Burmese poet who debuted with THT in February, has submitted a new poem, "Ode to O'Reilly," which refers to a poem published by the Pennsylvania Review by one "Ass Elixir."

Conor Kelly was born in Dublin and spent his adult life teaching in a school in the Dublin suburbs. He retired to a small village in the Charente region of France to play boules, sample the local cuisine and run his twitter site, @poemtoday, which is dedicated to the short poem. He has had numerous poems published in Ireland and abroad in such magazines as Poetry Ireland Review, Boyne Berries, The Honest Ulsterman, Revival (Limerick), The Irish Times, Envoi, The
Huffington Post, The Southern Review
(Louisiana) and The Ofi Press (Mexico City). He has also been a poetry critic for The Irish Times, The Sunday Tribune (Dublin) and Poetry Review (London). He was once shortlisted for a Hennessy New Irish Writers award. At the ceremony one of the judges, Fay Weldon, asked him, “Where are you in these poems?” He is still asking himself that same question.

Edward Nudelman's poetry collections include Out of Time, Running (Harbor Mountain Press, 2014), What Looks Like an Elephant (Lummox Press, 2011), and Night Fires (Pudding House Press, 2009). He has received numerous awards and recognition for his poetry. His poems have appeared in dozens of journals, including: Rattle, Cortland Review, Valparaiso Review, Chiron Review, Evergreen Review, Poets and Artists, Ampersand, Syntax, The Atlanta Review, Mipoesias, Plainsongs, Floating Bridge Press, The Penwood Review. Nudelman founded and operates a notable rare bookshop in Seattle (est. 1980) and has recently retired from a scientific career in cancer biology where his research was published in over 60 papers in top-tier scientific journals.

Vera Pavlova (1963-) is a contemporary Russian poet, born in Moscow. She is a graduate of the Schnittke College of Music and the Gnessin Academy of Music, where she specialized in music history. She has worked as a guide at the Shaliapin Museum in Moscow and has published several essays on music. She began writing poetry at age twenty, after the birth of her first daughter, while she was still at the maternity ward. 

Famous Nicknames 

April 2017

Edward Nudelman's poetry collections include Out of Time, Running (Harbor Mountain Press, 2014), What Looks Like an Elephant (Lummox Press, 2011), and Night Fires (Pudding House Press, 2009). He has received numerous awards and recognition for his poetry. His poems have appeared in dozens of journals, including: Rattle, Cortland Review, Valparaiso Review, Chiron Review, Evergreen Review, Poets and Artists, Ampersand, Syntax, The Atlanta Review, Mipoesias, Plainsongs, Floating Bridge Press, The Penwood Review. Nudelman founded and operates a notable rare bookshop in Seattle (est. 1980) and has recently retired from a scientific career in cancer biology where his research was published in over 60 papers in top-tier scientific journals.

Vera Pavlova (1963-) is a contemporary Russian poet, born in Moscow. She is a graduate of the Schnittke College of Music and the Gnessin Academy of Music, where she specialized in music history. She has worked as a guide at the Shaliapin Museum in Moscow and has published several essays on music. She began writing poetry at age twenty, after the birth of her first daughter, while she was still at the maternity ward. 

S. Sel-yksir, the young Burmese poet who debuted with THT in February, has submitted a new poem, "Victory Arch View of a Terrorist Manqué," which he indicated had been written in honor of a much-revered American poetry critic. He later provided us with a second new poem, "Teaching Donald To Hit The High Notes."

"Whitman's Worth" is a response to Sally Cook's recently-published poem "What a Wit is Worth."

Henry George Fischer [1923-2006] is one of our permanently featured poets. In addition to being an accomplished poet, he was the Metropolitan Museum of Art curator emeritus of Egyptology who helped the Temple of Dendur find a new life in New York.

My Memories of Alfred and Anita Dorn by Michael R. Burch

March 2017

S. Sel-yksir, the young Burmese poet who debuted with THT in February, has submitted a new poem, "Victory Arch View of a Terrorist Manqué," which he indicated had been written in honor of a much-revered American poetry critic. He later provided us with a second new poem, "Teaching Donald To Hit The High Notes."

"Whitman's Worth" is a response to Sally Cook's recently-published poem "What a Wit is Worth."

Henry George Fischer [1923-2006] is one of our permanently featured poets. In addition to being an accomplished poet, he was the Metropolitan Museum of Art curator emeritus of Egyptology who helped the Temple of Dendur find a new life in New York.

Donald Trump's Inaugural Day Sermon by Michael R. Burch

My Memories of Alfred and Anita Dorn by Michael R. Burch

William Sykes Harris II is a tribute and a poignant plea for Americans not to settle for an ACA replacement that leaves people struggling with mental illness and addictions uncovered.

Seamus Cassidy returns to the Spotlight with a new poem, "Afraid of the Light." 

T. Merrill remains in the Spotlight with his latest poem: "Mechanism Will Of Course Prevail."

CHATTERTON

Pages of Special Interest (if you want to get back to your English poetic roots)

English Poetry Timeline (Prehistoric, Celtic, Anglo-Roman, Anglo-Saxon/Old English, Anglo-Norman/Middle English, English Renaissance, Elizabethan, Reformation, Restoration, Romantic, etc.)
Robert Graves proposed a date of 1268 BC for the Song of Amergin, but dating such orally-transmitted Prehistoric works may be a highly speculative endeavor.
Caedmon's Hymn, the oldest authenticated English poem (circa 658 AD), marks the beginning of what came to be known as English poetry (although it was Anglo-Saxon and thus heavily Germanic at the time).
Bede's Death Song may have been written on his deathbed in 735 AD by the Venerable Bede, a notable scholar and translator who has been called the "father of English history."
Deor, an Anglo-Saxon scop, wrote Deor's Lament, perhaps during the reign of King Alfred the Great (849-899), the most literate of the Anglo-Saxon kings.
The Exeter Book (circa 950-990 AD) may contain the first extant English poems written by women: Wulf and Eadwacer and The Wife's Lament.
The Exeter Book also contains Anglo-Saxon riddles and kennings and the first known English rhyming poem.
Now skruketh rose and lylie flour is one of the earliest English love poems, circa 1000 AD.
How Long the Night ("Myrie it is while sumer ylast") is one of the great early rhyming poems of the Middle English period (circa 1200 AD); it remains largely understandable to modern English readers.
The terms "ballad" and "ballet" have the same root: dance or "the cadence of consenting feet." Ballads were originally written to accompany community dances: think of two-stepping to a reel at a hoe-down.
Now Goeth Sun Under Wood
dates to around 1240 AD and has some very clever punning wordplay.
Sumer is icumen in is a medieval English round, or rota (circa 1260 AD). It came with a musical score and instructions for the singing of rounds, in Latin! It is one of the oldest songs that can still be sung today.
Fowles in the Frith, also circa 1260 AD, expresses deep sympathy for "beasts of bone and blood" in an arresting short lyric. Or is the sorrow expressed for a lover, or Jesus Christ?
Ich am of Irlaunde ("I am of Ireland") has been dated to around the same time.
I Have a Yong Suster ("I Have a Young Sister") is an anonymous Medieval English poem that has been described as a "haunting riddle-chant," circa 1430 AD.
In 1503 William Dunbar's stellar Sweet Rose of Virtue and Lament for the Makaris appeared in the first book of Scottish poems.
In 1620 the Pilgrims set sail for America in the Mayflower; they landed at Cape Cod and founded the New Plymouth colony. Tom O'Bedlam's Song was published the same year.



February 2017

S. Sel-yksir is a young Burmese poet living in Moldova. As a member of his homeland's Rohingya minority he began dreaming of living elsewhere. Since he had no travel allowance, nor in fact any money at all, he conceived a daring plan, and sailed to Europe on a freighter as a stowaway. Stolen cans of ngapi helped keep him alive during the long boatride. In Marseilles he succeeded in safely debarking in a crateful of silks. He slipped out of the box later the same day and cut through some corrugated metal siding with a tool he had brought. A new world lay before him. His English was acquired as a child from an imam who thought he showed promise. He now lives with a Moldovan gentleman, with whom he sips wonderful Moldovan wines and shares a bed. They are planning to get married in Luxembourg soon.

The two poems submitted by S. Sel-ykisr address the current American political crisis.

T. Merrill returns to the Spotlight with a new poem: "Mechanism Will Of Course Prevail."

"Whitman's Worth" is a response to Sally Cook's recently-published poem "What a Wit is Worth."

Valentine's Day Poems contains poems you can share with that "special someone," entirely free of charge.

Sappho was one of the earliest and best love poets; she may also have been the first "make love, not war" poet.

The Love Song of Shu-Sin: The Earth's Oldest Love Poem?

Urdu Love Poetry: Modern English Translations by Michael R. Burch

The Best Love Songs: One Man's Opinion

CHATTERTON

January 2017

New Year Poetry

Famous Poems about Drinking has been updated with "Song of the Alleycat" by T. Merrill.

Norman R. Shapiro is professor of Romance languages and literatures and a much-published translator. Among his many translations are Four Farces by Georges Feydeau, which was nominated for a National Book Award; The Fabulists French: Verse Fables of Nine Centuries, named Distinguished Book of the Year by the American Literary Translator's Association; One Hundred and One Poems by Paul Verlaine, which won the Modern Language Association of America's Scaglione Prize in 2001; and Charles Baudelaire: Selected Poems from "Les Fleurs du mal."

E. M. Darnell is a floor tech and online tutor in Fremont, Nebraska. He received his MFA from the Iowa Writers' Workshop in 1990, where he studied under Gerald Stern, Marvin Bell, Jorie Graham, and the late James Tate. He has published poems in The Lyric, The Eclectic Muse, Verse (online edition), Quantum Leap, Candelabrum, Aries, Open Minds Quarterly, Skid Row Penthouse, Plainsongs and Ship Of Fools, and has poems forthcoming in Form Quarterly and Shot Glass Journal. He has also been a phlebotomist, hotel supervisor, editorial assistant, farmhand, landscaper, busboy, critic of modern society, devout recluse, and incurable brooder/dreamercausing near auto collisions but still alive.

Paul Michelsen is active in the Las Vegas poetry scene; he was recommended to us by longtime THT contributor Nick Marco, who moves in the same poetic circles.

Michael R. Burch: Early Poems

December 2016

During his lifetime, the poems of Wilmer Mills were published in journals (Poetry, The New Republic, The Hudson Review, The Southern Review, The New Criterion, among others), in two anthologies (Penguin/Longman Anthology of Contemporary American Poets, 2004; The Swallow Anthology of New American Poets, 2009) and in two books: a chapbook, Right as Rain (Aralia Press, 1999) and a full-length collection of poems, Light for the Orphans (Story Line Press, 2002). After working as a carpenter, sawmill operator, songwriter, and artisan bread baker, he became the Kenan Fellow at U.N.C. Chapel Hill from 2008-2010. Wil was the Writer-in-Residence at Covenant College when he died in 2011 following a two-month battle with liver cancer. His Selected Poems (May 2013), edited by his wife Kathryn, were published posthumously by the University of Evansville Press in 2013. His last two manuscripts, Arriving on Time and The World That Isn’t There, are forthcoming from Measure Press in 2017.

Raymond Oliver has published hundreds of poems in periodicals, chapbooks, and anthologies, about a dozen essays on poetry and translation, and four books: Poems Without Names (U. of Calif. Berkeley and Los Angeles 1970), a study of anonymous short poems in Middle English; To Be Plain (R.L Barth 1981), verse-translations from several languages; Raymond Oliver His Book of Hours (out of print 2008), a collection of "triads," a form of epigrammatic lyric invented by the author; and Beowulf: A Likeness (Yale 1990), a reshaping and rewriting of the ancient poem. He will also have at least two books published within the coming year: The Year of Wonders, a first-person account in prose by Sir Gawain of his adventures that year with the Green Knight, and Two Smart Boys, the correspondence of Raymond Oliver and his friend David Jenness when they were young men. He lives in Berkeley with his wife Mary Anne, but the two of them also live part-time in Tennessee to visit with their daughter Kathryn and her children, and in France, to be among friends.

The Love Song of Shu-Sin: The Earth's Oldest Love Poem?

Mladen Blažević was born in Rijeka, Croatia, in 1969. In the past he has worked on archaeological field projects and for daily and weekly newspapers as a journalist. At the beginning of 2000, he moved to the countryside to start a small organic farm, and he founded and edited several newspapers. In 2008 Blažević published his first novel, Tragovi goveda ("Cattle tracks"), and in 2013 he co-authored a collection of dystopian stories, NDH 2033 ("The Independent State of Croatia 2033"). In 2015 he published his second novel, Ilirik (An Iliric). He also wrote the screenplay for the live-action sequence of the live-action animated feature film Je letrika ubila štrige ("Did the electrics kill off the earwigs?"). Currently, he is writing his third novel and the script for a drama series, and is preparing to publish a collection of poems, Posljednji tasmanijski tigar ("The last Tasmanian tiger"). A large number of his short stories and poems have been published in various literary journals and websites. Mladen Blažević's stories and poems have also been translated into Slovenian, English and Ukrainian.

Norman R. Shapiro is professor of Romance languages and literatures and a much-published translator. Among his many translations are Four Farces by Georges Feydeau, which was nominated for a National Book Award; The Fabulists French: Verse Fables of Nine Centuries, named Distinguished Book of the Year by the American Literary Translator's Association; One Hundred and One Poems by Paul Verlaine, which won the Modern Language Association of America's Scaglione Prize in 2001; and Charles Baudelaire: Selected Poems from "Les Fleurs du mal."

Yves L-Thrace remains in our Spotlight.

The Best Christmas Poems of All Time range from nursery rhymes to Christmas carols to poems written by major poets.

Christmas 1956: Angel from Heaven by Sándor Márai is an inspirational poem about human courage and bravery in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds.

The Ballad of the Christmas Donkey, and a Message of Hope is the Christmas wish and encouragement of Beth Burch, the wife of THT editor Mike Burch, for anyone who may be struggling with depression, bullying or a feeling of being "different" in a negative way. Beth's message is that being different is good, so "take back the power" from people who say otherwise.

In a somewhat darker spirit of the season, we are re-featuring our page of Heretical Christmas Poems, with contributions by Ann Drysdale, T. Merrill and other poets.

November 2016

During his lifetime, the poems of Wilmer Mills were published in journals (Poetry, The New Republic, The Hudson Review, The Southern Review, The New Criterion, among others), in two anthologies (Penguin/Longman Anthology of Contemporary American Poets, 2004; The Swallow Anthology of New American Poets, 2009) and in two books: a chapbook, Right as Rain (Aralia Press, 1999) and a full-length collection of poems, Light for the Orphans (Story Line Press, 2002). After working as a carpenter, sawmill operator, songwriter, and artisan bread baker, he became the Kenan Fellow at U.N.C. Chapel Hill from 2008-2010. Wil was the Writer-in-Residence at Covenant College when he died in 2011 following a two-month battle with liver cancer. His Selected Poems (May 2013), edited by his wife Kathryn, were published posthumously by the University of Evansville Press in 2013. His last two manuscripts, Arriving on Time and The World That Isn’t There, are forthcoming from Measure Press in 2017.

Born in Montréal, Yves L-Thrace was passionate about art at a very young age. As a child, he converted the family shed into an art studio and worked with oil and charcoal. By the age of 16, he discovered the American poet Walt Whitman and a number of French poets including Arthur Rimbaud. Later, he became keenly interested in oriental mysticism as well as in Chinese and Japanese art and poetry. In the sixties he studied at the Montreal School of Fine Arts with Umberto Bruni, Luigi Bartolini, Louis Archambault and Guiseppe Fiore. A Montreal artist, Thrace has had more than 30 solo and group exhibitions in Quebec and abroad. His work has been exhibited in a number of Montreal galleries, including Artus Gallery (2003), Commensal Gallery (2000), Diagram Art Gallery (1998), l'Imprévue Gallery (1992 and 1991), and l'Informelle Gallery (1987, 1988 and 1989). His work was also  displayed in Martinique at the Bakoua Hotel (1975), in Bolivia at the La Paz Café (1973) and in Peru at the San Martin Plaza (1972). Thrace has participated in numerous group exhibitions: Among them, in New York at Rockefeller Center (1993) and at ELLAC (2000 and 1990), the Museum du Fier Monde in Montreal (2000) as well as the Museum of Mont-Saint-Hilaire (2000). In 1989, he participated in the second Biennial of Canadian Painting where he received a prize for excellence in composition accorded by René Huyghe, (The Louvre, Paris). His work was also selected by the Quebec Art Council (Conseil de la peinture du Québec) for their exhibition entitled "Plurality." This show was presented in numerous museums and art Centers throughout Quebec (1997-1998). Thrace is a professional artist and member of R.A.A.V. and the Artotheque of Montreal. His works are found in certain art collections in Montreal, Mont-Saint-Hilaire and New York.

Olfa Philo is an English teacher, a PhD scholar and a committed poetess from Tunisia. Her poems have appeared in print and online reviews such as The Poet Sanctuary, The Voices Project, The Sirens Call, Taj Mahal Review, The Haiku Journal, S/tick Review, Three Line Review and The Recusant Journal. She is an ex-international volleyball player and is also gifted in design and interior decoration.

The Love Song of Shu-Sin: The Earth's Oldest Love Poem?

Fadwa Tuqan (1917-2003), the Grande Dame of Palestinian letters, is also known as "the Poet of Palestine." She is generally considered to be one of the very best contemporary Arab poets. The sister of the poet Ibrahim Tuqan, she was born in Nablus in 1917. She began writing in traditional forms, but became one of the leaders of the use of the free verse in Arabic poetry. Her work often deals with feminine explorations of love and social protest, particularly of Israel's occupation of Palestinian territories. We have recently updated her poetry page with three new translations by THT editor Michael R. Burch.

We have added two new poems to the poetry page of John Beaton.

Norman R. Shapiro is professor of Romance languages and literatures and a much-published translator. Among his many translations are Four Farces by Georges Feydeau, which was nominated for a National Book Award; The Fabulists French: Verse Fables of Nine Centuries, named Distinguished Book of the Year by the American Literary Translator's Association; One Hundred and One Poems by Paul Verlaine, which won the Modern Language Association of America's Scaglione Prize in 2001; and Charles Baudelaire: Selected Poems from "Les Fleurs du mal."

T. Merrill remains in the Spotlight with a new poem: "Epitaph."

Famous Poems about Drinking

Famous Songs about Drinking

THT editor Michael R. Burch has an article published online by Elephant Journal that asks whether what Donald Trump proposes would create an American Holocaust, by considering things that went wrong with Hitler's plan to deport Germany's "undesirables":

http://www.elephantjournal.com/2016/10/are-we-headed-for-an-american-holocaust/ 

October 2016

Halloween Poetry was meant to be a seasonal page, but it has remained popular with readers year-round, and is now getting tens of thousands of page views per year.

Olivia Byard was born in South Wales, and grew up on the Cotswolds and in Montreal, Canada, where she subsequently studied at Queens University and the University of Alberta. She returned to Britain as a young adult. She started to write and publish poems both at home and abroad in the late eighties. In the early nineties she began creative writing workshops in the weekly class programme at Oxford University Department for Continuing Education. She also taught for a while for Reading University Department for Extended Education and was a part-time tutor for Stanford in Oxford. She taught Workshops for OUDCE at Oxford for twenty-three years, but now prefers to read and teach when invited, when not writing her fourth book. Her first collection of poems, From a Benediction, from Peterloo Poets, was nominated for The Forward Prize for best First Collection. Her second book, Strange Horses, from Flambard Press, was cited by The Telegraph as one of the best recent collections, and received excellent reviews. Her third book, The Wilding Eye―New and Selected Poems, was published by The Worple Press. Her work has also been published and anthologised both in Britain and abroad. It has been championed by such figures as Les Murray, Alastair Fowler and Bernard O'Donoghue; and in their life-times, John Bayley, Anna Ridler and Brian Cox. She has strong feelings about unfairness in society and the wider world―and about climate change in particular―and our urgent need for renewables and a sustainable, kinder system of living where humans, animals and plants can all thrive together in a healthier world. She has published a number of letters in The Guardian, and often comments on social, political, and literary matters on-line.

David Alpaugh’s essay "The Professionalization of Poetry" was serialized in two issues of Poets & Writers Magazine in 2003. It drew over two hundred letters and emails and was widely discussed on the internet. Alpaugh’s poetry, fiction, drama and criticism have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies, including Exquisite Corpse, The Formalist, Modern Drama, Poetry, Twentieth Century Literature, The Literature of Work, and California Poetry from the Gold Rush to the Present. He is the creator of a new poetic form, the Double-Title poem. His page contains six examples of the form and a brief discussion of the rules. Several other poets, including Sherman Alexie, say they love the form and are already at work on Double-Titles of their own!

Norman R. Shapiro is professor of Romance languages and literatures and a much-published translator. Among his many translations are Four Farces by Georges Feydeau, which was nominated for a National Book Award; The Fabulists French: Verse Fables of Nine Centuries, named Distinguished Book of the Year by the American Literary Translator's Association; One Hundred and One Poems by Paul Verlaine, which won the Modern Language Association of America's Scaglione Prize in 2001; and Charles Baudelaire: Selected Poems from "Les Fleurs du mal."

T. Merrill remains in the Spotlight with a new poem: "Epitaph."

September 2016

THT editor Michael R. Burch has an article about Gabby Giffords and the shooting massacres of children published online by Elephant Journal at the following hyperlink:

http://www.elephantjournal.com/2016/09/shooting-victim-demands-an-end-to-the-massacre-of-children/

The article concludes with Burch's poem "Child of 9-11." If you like the article and/or the poem, please feel free to share the link via email, on social media, or however you prefer.

David Alpaugh’s essay “The Professionalization of Poetry” was serialized in two issues of Poets & Writers Magazine in 2003. It drew over two hundred letters and emails and was widely discussed on the internet. Alpaugh’s poetry, fiction, drama and criticism have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies, including Exquisite Corpse, The Formalist, Modern Drama, Poetry, Twentieth Century Literature, The Literature of Work, and California Poetry from the Gold Rush to the Present. He is the creator of a new poetic form, the Double-Title poem. His page contains six examples of the form and a brief discussion of the rules. Several other poets, including Sherman Alexie, say they love the form and are already at work on Double-Titles of their own!

Norman R. Shapiro is professor of Romance languages and literatures and a much-published translator. Among his many translations are Four Farces by Georges Feydeau, which was nominated for a National Book Award; The Fabulists French: Verse Fables of Nine Centuries, named Distinguished Book of the Year by the American Literary Translator's Association; One Hundred and One Poems by Paul Verlaine, which won the Modern Language Association of America's Scaglione Prize in 2001; and Charles Baudelaire: Selected Poems from "Les Fleurs du mal."

Aaron Poochigian earned a PhD in Classics from the University of Minnesota in 2006 and an MFA in Poetry from Columbia University in 2016. His book of translations from Sappho, Stung With Love, was published by Penguin Classics in 2009, and his translation of Apollonius’ Jason and the Argonauts was released October 2014. For his work in translation he was awarded a 2010-2011 Grant by the National Endowment for the Arts. His first book of original poetry, The Cosmic Purr (Able Muse Press) was published in 2012, and several of the poems in it collectively won the New England Poetry Club’s Daniel Varoujan Prize. His work has appeared in such journals as The Guardian, Poems Out Loud and POETRY.  

T. Merrill remains in the Spotlight with a new poem: "Epitaph."

August 2016

Norman R. Shapiro is professor of Romance languages and literatures and a much-published translator. Among his many translations are Four Farces by Georges Feydeau, which was nominated for a National Book Award; The Fabulists French: Verse Fables of Nine Centuries, named Distinguished Book of the Year by the American Literary Translator's Association; One Hundred and One Poems by Paul Verlaine, which won the Modern Language Association of America's Scaglione Prize in 2001; and Charles Baudelaire: Selected Poems from "Les Fleurs du mal."

Aaron Poochigian earned a PhD in Classics from the University of Minnesota in 2006 and an MFA in Poetry from Columbia University in 2016. His book of translations from Sappho, Stung With Love, was published by Penguin Classics in 2009, and his translation of Apollonius’ Jason and the Argonauts was released October 2014. For his work in translation he was awarded a 2010-2011 Grant by the National Endowment for the Arts. His first book of original poetry, The Cosmic Purr (Able Muse Press) was published in 2012, and several of the poems in it collectively won the New England Poetry Club’s Daniel Varoujan Prize. His work has appeared in such journals as The Guardian, Poems Out Loud and POETRY.  

T. Merrill remains in the Spotlight with a new poem: "Lost in the Crowd."

July 2016

Independence Day Poems and Songs

Independence Day Thoughts: Blind Faith vs. Independent Thinking

Independence Day Madness

Let Freedom Sing!

Aaron Poochigian earned a PhD in Classics from the University of Minnesota in 2006 and an MFA in Poetry from Columbia University in 2016. His book of translations from Sappho, Stung With Love, was published by Penguin Classics in 2009, and his translation of Apollonius’ Jason and the Argonauts was released October 2014. For his work in translation he was awarded a 2010-2011 Grant by the National Endowment for the Arts. His first book of original poetry, The Cosmic Purr (Able Muse Press) was published in 2012, and several of the poems in it collectively won the New England Poetry Club’s Daniel Varoujan Prize. His work has appeared in such journals as The Guardian, Poems Out Loud and POETRY.  

T. Merrill remains in the Spotlight with a new poem: "Lost in the Crowd."

The Best Quatrains Ever

June 2016


Aaron Poochigian earned a PhD in Classics from the University of Minnesota in 2006 and an MFA in Poetry from Columbia University in 2016. His book of translations from Sappho, Stung With Love, was published by Penguin Classics in 2009, and his translation of Apollonius’ Jason and the Argonauts was released October 2014. For his work in translation he was awarded a 2010-2011 Grant by the National Endowment for the Arts. His first book of original poetry, The Cosmic Purr (Able Muse Press) was published in 2012, and several of the poems in it collectively won the New England Poetry Club’s Daniel Varoujan Prize. His work has appeared in such journals as The Guardian, Poems Out Loud and POETRY.  

T. Merrill remains in the Spotlight with a new poem: "Lost in the Crowd."

The Best Quatrains Ever

May 2016

Jared Carter’s first collection of poems, Work, for the Night Is Coming, won the Walt Whitman Award for 1980. His second poetry collection, After the Rain, received the Poets’ Prize for 1995. His third collection, Les Barricades Mystérieuses, was published in 1999. His latest book, Darkened Rooms of Summer, was published in 2014 by the University of Nebraska Press, with an intro by Ted Kooser. We have added four new poems to Carter's poetry page: "December," "Omega," "Transient" and "Veteran."

Michael R. Burch's review of Darkened Rooms of Summer by Jared Carter.

Jared Carter Interview with Michael R. Burch

Muhammad Ali Poetry

April 2016

Siham Karami's poetry has been or will be published in The Comstock Review, Measure, Right Hand Pointing, The Rotary Dial, The Ghazal Page, Unsplendid, Möbius, Mezzo Cammin,  Raintown Review, Amsterdam Quarterly, Innisfree Journal, The Lavender Review, The Centrifugal Eye, and other venues and anthologies. She is a Pushcart Prize nominee and a winner of the Laureates' Prize in the Maria W. Faust Sonnet Competition.

Rhina P. Espaillat remains in the Spotlight with a new poem, "Snow."

Catherine Chandler remains in the Spotlight with a new poem, "The Deep Season." She recently won the Richard Wilbur award for her book, The Frangible Hour, which was selected by Dick Davis and will be published later this year by the University of Evansville Press.

A. E. Stallings remains in the Spotlight with a new poem, "The Catch."

Kate Bernadette Benedict remains in the Spotlight.

T. Merrill remains in the Spotlight with four new poems.

Famous Women

The Greatest Movies of All Time

March 2016


Rhina P. Espaillat returns to the Spotlight with a new poem, "Snow."

Catherine Chandler returns to the Spotlight with a new poem, "The Deep Season." She recently won the Richard Wilbur award for her book, The Frangible Hour, which was selected by Dick Davis and will be published later this year by the University of Evansville Press.

A. E. Stallings was one of the first poets we published; now she's back in the Spotlight with a new poem, "The Catch."

T. Merrill remains in the Spotlight with four new poems.

Not much is known about Marcus Bales except that he lives and works in Cleveland, Ohio, and that his work has not been published in Poetry or The New Yorker.  

Kate Bernadette Benedict’s first poetry collection, Here From Away, came out in 2003. Her second, In Company, appeared eight years later. Earthly Use: New and Selected Poems was published in 2015 and includes poems from both volumes, along with others heretofore uncollected. It is available on Amazon, BN.com and Powells. Kate has edited and published a number of online poetry journals: Umbrella: A Journal of Poetry and Kindred Prose; Bumbershoot (Umbrella’s lighter offshoot); and Tilt-a-Whirl, a poetry “sporadical” of repeating forms. She has worked in the fields of book publishing and banking. After living for 35 years on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, in 2011 Kate and her husband John Leahy relocated to Riverdale, a leafy neighborhood in the Bronx.

Leland James is the author of three books of poetry. He has been published in over fifty journals and magazines worldwide, including Form Quarterly, The South Carolina Review, The Spoon River Poetry Review, New Millennium Writings, The London Magazine, Vallum, Orbis, Magma, Osprey, Scotland’s international journal of literature, Arc, HQ, The Haiku Quarterly and The Society of Classical Poets Journal. He was the winner of The Little Red Tree International poetry prize, the Portland Pen Poetry Contest, the Writer’s Forum short poem contest, and the Atlanta Review's International Publication Prize. He was also a runner-up for the poetry prizes of Fish International (Ireland), the Welsh International, The London Magazine and the Society of Classical Poets. He has placed or received honors in dozens of other competitions, including those of Aesthetica Magazine, Morton Marr, The Southwest Review, the Golden Quill Awards and the Bridport Prize. He received the Franklin-Christoph Merit Award for Poetry in 2008 and was nominated for a 2014 Pushcart Prize. His personal website can be found at www.lelandjamespoet.com.

The 21st West Chester Poetry Conference is now booking orders. R. S. "Sam" Gwynn is the Program Director for the 2016 Conference. Sir Andrew Motion, a former British Poet Laureate, will be the Keynote Speaker. Charles Martin is the West Chester Poet Laureate. Rhina Espaillat is the West Chester Poet Emerita. Workshop leaders include Mark Jarman, Julie Kane and John Whitworth. If you are interested in attending or learning more, just click the hyperlink.

The Best Humorous Poems of All Time

February 2016

Kate Bernadette Benedict’s first poetry collection, Here From Away, came out in 2003. Her second, In Company, appeared eight years later. Earthly Use: New and Selected Poems was published in 2015 and includes poems from both volumes, along with others heretofore uncollected. It is available on Amazon, BN.com and Powells. Kate has edited and published a number of online poetry journals: Umbrella: A Journal of Poetry and Kindred Prose; Bumbershoot (Umbrella’s lighter offshoot); and Tilt-a-Whirl, a poetry “sporadical” of repeating forms. She has worked in the fields of book publishing and banking. After living for 35 years on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, in 2011 Kate and her husband John Leahy relocated to Riverdale, a leafy neighborhood in the Bronx.

Leland James is the author of three books of poetry. He has been published in over fifty journals and magazines worldwide, including Form Quarterly, The South Carolina Review, The Spoon River Poetry Review, New Millennium Writings, The London Magazine, Vallum, Orbis, Magma, Osprey, Scotland’s international journal of literature, Arc, HQ, The Haiku Quarterly and The Society of Classical Poets Journal. He was the winner of The Little Red Tree International poetry prize, the Portland Pen Poetry Contest, the Writer’s Forum short poem contest, and the Atlanta Review's International Publication Prize. He was also a runner-up for the poetry prizes of Fish International (Ireland), the Welsh International, The London Magazine and the Society of Classical Poets. He has placed or received honors in dozens of other competitions, including those of Aesthetica Magazine, Morton Marr, The Southwest Review, the Golden Quill Awards and the Bridport Prize. He received the Franklin-Christoph Merit Award for Poetry in 2008 and was nominated for a 2014 Pushcart Prize. His personal website can be found at www.lelandjamespoet.com.

Not much is known about Marcus Bales except that he lives and works in Cleveland, Ohio, and that his work has not been published in Poetry or The New Yorker.  

T. Merrill remains in the Spotlight with four new poems.

The 21st West Chester Poetry Conference is now booking orders. R. S. "Sam" Gwynn is the Program Director for the 2016 Conference. Sir Andrew Motion, a former British Poet Laureate, will be the Keynote Speaker. Charles Martin is the West Chester Poet Laureate. Rhina Espaillat is the West Chester Poet Emerita. Workshop leaders include Mark Jarman, Julie Kane and John Whitworth. If you are interested in attending or learning more, just click the hyperlink.

The Best Humorous Poems of All Time

January 2016

New Year Poetry: the Poetry of Endings and New Beginnings

T. Merrill remains in the Spotlight with two new poems.

The 21st West Chester Poetry Conference is now booking orders. R. S. "Sam" Gwynn is the Program Director for the 2016 Conference. Sir Andrew Motion, a former British Poet Laureate, will be the Keynote Speaker. Charles Martin is the West Chester Poet Laureate. Rhina Espaillat is the West Chester Poet Emerita. Workshop leaders include Mark Jarman, Julie Kane and John Whitworth. If you are interested in attending or learning more, just click the hyperlink.

The Best Humorous Poems of All Time

Where Have All the Birthers Gone? Ted Cruz's Birth in Canada and the Fidel Castro Cuban Connection Revealed!

Prior Issues of
The HyperTexts

For issues from November 2001 to December 2008, please click here

For issues from January 2009 to December 2012, please click here

For issues from January 2013 to December 2015, please click here

Prior to November 2001: Our first featured poet was Richard Moore, in the November 2001 issue, which you can find by clicking the preceding hyperlink. Prior to November 2001, THT didn't have issues, per se, and was not updated on a monthly basis, but merely upon the caprice of its founder and editor (i.e. me, Mike Burch). When did THT start? I don't rightly remember! But I was able to use the Wayback Machine to find the earliest extant version of THT, circa March 2001. At that time we had separate pages for the Masters; they included Matthew Arnold, William Blake, Ernest Dowson, Robert Frost, A. E. Housman, Ben Jonson, Edgar Allan Poe, Wilfred Owen, E. A. Robinson, Dylan Thomas, Walt Whitman, and W. B. Yeats. Our first cadre of contemporary poets included Harvey Stanbrough, Annie Finch, A. E. Stallings (the first "big fish" we landed), Dr. Joseph S. Salemi, William F. Carlson, Jennifer Reeser, Kevin N. Roberts, Michael Pendragon, and Michael R. Burch. From April to October 2001 we added the following contemporary poets: Roger Hecht, Louise Jaffe, Esther Cameron, Jack Granath, Carmen Willcox, Dr. Alfred Dorn, Wade Newman, Patrick Kanouse, Joyce Wilson, Mary Rae (the winner of our first and only poetry contest), Ric Masten and Ursula T. Gibson. In the early days, Bill Carlson was a godsend, as he put us in touch, either directly or indirectly through his website and its links to Expansive Poetry & Music Online, with roughly half the poets we published in our formative days: himself, Dorn, Salemi, Cameron, Newman, Hecht (via Newman, his literary executor), Jaffe, Granath, Reeser and Richard Moore. The second largest "pool" of poets came from to us from the ranks of the New Romantics: Kevin N. Roberts, Michael Pendragon, Carmen Willcox and Mary Rae. We found Harvey Stanbrough through The Raintown Review, which he founded and was still editing at the time. Some poets we found through the "grapevine" and the Internet: Stallings, Finch, Wilson, Masten, Gibson. We found Kanouse either through Carlson or Stanbrough.

Just when was The HyperTexts originally created? I'm not sure. Probably between 1998 and 2000, since the site already had considerable content in early 2001, with a total of 21 poets in its Masters and Contemporary Poets indexes, not to mention fairly extensive Esoterica and Rock Jukebox pages. In July 2004 we recorded our hit counter for the first time: 16,787. But I don't remember when I added it, so any number of early hits were probably not recorded. In four months of 2008 alone, THT had around 30,000 hits on its main page. So our readership has obviously grown dramatically. We seem to get as many hits in four months as we once did in four years.

Why did I start The HyperTexts? Again, I really don't remember. I know I bought a copy of Microsoft Frontpage, the program I used to create THT, probably just before the turn of century, in order to edit the website of the software company I own, Alpha Omega Consulting Group, Inc. At the time Alpha Omega had a programmer, Steve Harris, who had experience designing websites, so I imagine I bought the program on his recommendation. Steve left Alpha Omega toward the end of 2000, so I suppose around that time I had to take over editing the company website. So perhaps I created THT in order to learn the basics of HTML. It would have been natural for me to create a literary website, as a way of learning my way around HTML, because whenever I needed to learn a new programming language, I always started with something functional that I had the expertise to design and critique. I doubt that I had any real intention of being an editor and publisher of poetry at the time. I do remember getting in contact with A. E. (Alicia) Stallings and asking if I could publish a few of her poems. Her graciousness no doubt encouraged me to "go after" other poets. Annie Finch and Harvey Stanbrough were other poets I admired who gave me permission to publish their poems. Through my connection with Michael Pendragon, who published my poems in the literary journals Penny Dreadful and Songs of Innocence and the poetry anthology The Bible of Hell, I met Kevin N. Roberts, the founder and editor of Romantics Quarterly. As I helped Kevin get Romantics Quarterly off the ground, with financial assistance and suggestions, I began to see something of a larger role for myself, in the grand scheme of things, and THT soon became a launching pad of sorts for literary journals on tight budgets that didn't have their own websites. Those were the days before every man and his dog had a blog.

In 2002 I published Rhina Espaillat, and over the years she has helped THT publish the work of a number of her fellow Powow River Poets, including Michael Cantor, Deborah Warren, Len Krisak, Mike Juster and Midge Goldberg.

In 2002 I published Jack Butler, the first poet in an "Arkansas connection" that now includes Jack, Greg Alan Brownderville, Jim Barnes, and R. S. (Sam) Gwynn.

In early 2003 I ran free advertisements for Joe Ruggier's literary journal, The Eclectic Muse, and for his collection of books on CD, which my software company helped Joe create. My relationship with Joe soon led THT to join forces with Joe's Multicultural Books (MBooks) imprint, and before long we had published books by Emery Campbell, Zyskandar Jaimot, T. Merrill and V. Ulea, with hopefully more to come.

Also in 2003 I published Yala Korwin, a Holocaust survivor, and soon with the help of Yala and Esther Cameron, THT was able to bring a number of poems by Jewish ghetto poets and other Holocaust poets that had never appeared in English before. Our early Holocaust pages included those of Janusz Korczak and Elie Wiesel, which were published in 2004.

In 2005, I published the work of T. (Tom) Merrill, and this was the beginning of yet another fruitful relationship. Tom has devoted much time to THT, and he is now our Poet in Residuum. In addition to gracing our pages with his poems, essays and poet intros, Tom is a proofreader par excellence. And he has directed us to a number of poets we wouldn't have known about otherwise, including Agnes Wathall, Eunice de Chazeau and Mary Malone.

In 2006, I published the poetry of Jeffery Woodward, and he has gone on to contribute a number of pages to our "Blasts from the Past" series, earning a honorable mention on our masthead. And so THT's editors and associates now consist of me, Tom, Joe and Jeffrey.

As I pen this retrospective (written on December 12, 2008), THT ranks in the top ten with Google for a number of our primary search terms: the hypertexts (#1), hypertexts (#2), formal poetry (#2), contemporary formal poetry (#3), "the Masters" poetry (#2), Darfur poetry (#1), Holocaust poetry (#10), ghetto poets (#2), Nelson Mandela poetry (#1), Elie Wiesel poetry (#1), Leonard Nimoy poetry (#1), Ronald Reagan poetry (#1), Pope John Paul II poetry (#1), Karol Wojtyla poetry (#1), Nadia Anjuman poetry (#1 and #2), Miklós Radnóti poetry (#1), Formalist poetry (#5). And we're ranked extremely high by Google for searches for many of the poets we've published: X. J. Kennedy poetry (#1), Richard Moore poetry (#1 and #2), Esther Cameron poetry (#1 and #2), George Held poetry (#1), Jack Butler poetry (#3 and #4), Ethna Carbery poetry (#3), etc.

In a few cases, such as Richard Moore's and Esther Cameron's, we even rank above the poets' personal and/or literary websites. And in many cases, we rank number one with Google in searches for our poets' names, sans modifiers, as with Eunice de Chazeau, Alfred Dorn, Rhina P. Espaillat, Roger Hecht, George Held, T. S. Kerrigan, Yala Korwin, Leslie Mellichamp, Robert Mezey, Joseph S. Salemi, and Agnes Wathall, just to drop a few names. These are men and women with serious accomplishments, so it's interesting to see THT ranking number one, even above Wikipedia, as we sometimes do.

Where will THT go from here? Perhaps as high and far as Google can help us fly . . .

Mike Burch
December 12, 2008

The HyperTexts