Crafting Hyphen-Bright Intensity

&In  art, intensity is defined as the saturation of color, the vividness of its hue. Intensity–that property of vividness that glimmers–is one of the hallmarks of Cassells’ poetry, which is to say that the images are layered, multi-dimensional and, well, intense. See this excerpt from his poem ” The Spirit of Slave Catchers are Still Walking Among Us” :

Robust enforcers insisting dark bodies remain

Ghetto-bound, earthbound,
Cradle-still in velvet-lined,

Elm or alder wood coffins—

As scholar-poet Roger Reeves points out, one of the tools Cassells employs in his work is the hyphen, which allows him to intensify his descriptors (i.e. “greed-swayed / kings of sugar”). Write a glitter-spun poem, with intensity as your primary goal and the hyphen as your primary instrument.


Read more in this issue: Interview | Critical Essay | Poems

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