Interviews and Reviews


Interview with Jennifer Boyden (by Weston Cutter)

Places of Making: An Interview with Jennifer Boyden (by James Crews)
basalt magazine
Interview excerpt:
James Crews:
First, I wonder if you could talk a little about how you came to poetry. What sparked your commitment to writing poems that focus so heavily on environmental issues and the natural world?
Jennifer Boyden: In terms of coming to poetry, I guess it was just the first language I experienced that felt electric and direct, it made sense. My friends joke about my near-total inability to make small talk, and poetry is nothing if not also devoid of that ability.
My poems focus on environmental issues because we live in a dying world, and part of how I understand my responsibility as a moral being is that I don't feel like I can look away from that. The earth's plight is a tragedy I am intimately involved with as both an individual and a cultural product. There's just such a lot of it to reckon with, and on so many levels—every one of them a tension between danger and beauty, tenderness and violence. Kid toys with lead, Monsanto crops that are genetic nightmares, toxic breast milk, shopping as a pastime, clearcuts that are prelude to landslides, our old computers piling up in China where the metals leach into and wreck the water and soil, and plastic tops of organic milk that end up floating in the ocean where albatross scoop it up and feed it to their chicks until the chicks die, simultaneously stuffed with and choking on plastic. This is all just for starters.



Review of The Declarable Future
by Kristina Kopić, Ploughshares Literary Magazine

Review of The Declarable Future
by Marisa Siegel, The Rumpus

"Out of Ulro: Some thoughts on "The Declarable Future" by Jennifer Boyden"
by Ger Killeen, Headlandia
Excerpt from Ger Killeen's review:
"What is so impressive about this poem, and so many of the poems in the book, is the deep sense of empathic alertness which attends the diagnosis of our contemporary global malaise, an understanding that we are all in this together; there is in the working of these poems a determined effort to see and see through our massively commoditized, denatured and desacralized world, and an equal determination not to stop there: these poems commit themselves to both the present and a future, a future where there's a chance we might become authentic neighbors to each other and to the earth itself. So, even at their most melancholic these poems manage to achieve a hard-won victory over the temptations of cynicism and despair—they prise open a space for an ethic of compassion, and sometimes with a surprising leaven of humor, counsel us as to the route of our going on."

author feature "For the Blood of It"
by Weston Cutter, Whistling Shade

"First Books, First Looks: A Review of Thirteen Debut Books of Poetry"
by William Doreski, Harvard Review Online

"Poetry Book Reviews"
by Christopher William Purdom

"Twelve-Twelve-Ten Review: April 2010"
by Nick Lantz

© 2018 Jennifer Boyden