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John Freeman

John Freeman is the author of Dictionary of the Undoing (FSG, 2019) and several other books, including The Park (Copper Canyon, 2020), and There’s a Revolution Outside My Life (Vintage, 2021), coedited with Tracy K Smith. The founder of the literary annual Freeman’s, he is an executive editor at Alfred A. Knopf. His latest books are The Penguin Book of the Modern American Short Story (Penguin, 2021), and Wind, Trees (Copper Canyon, 2022), a collection of poems. His work has been translated into more than twenty languages.



Fall 2022 | Poetry

Thirty miles south of Dallas the air smells of ozone and water. Thunderheads on the horizon in shades of indigo.

The Gargantuan Arm

March 2, 2020 | Poetry

Let us remember liberty was not popular,
six years it took Laboulaye to convince
Bartholdi a gigantic statue was 
what New York harbor needed. Eleven
years later


March 2, 2020 | Poetry

What if each time
you caused pain
a small, round stone
was put in your pocket
pebbles for inducing

Song of the Song

March 2, 2020 | Poetry

I wish we were living
a story of desire, but
I don’t feel Odysseus 
beating out his tale
of longing at the oars

Witness This

Summer 2014 | Poetry

Every April we unsheathed sofa cushions from their glassy wrappers,
perched tea on our laps, and became an audience for his four-decade

The Collected Poems of W. S. Merwin (two-volume set). Edited by J. D. McClatchy. Library of America, 2013. 1531p. HB, $75.

W. S. Merwin, the Eternal Apprentice

Fall 2013 | Criticism

Merwin's awesome range, intensity, and feral strangeness are evident in a new two-volume Library of America edition, beautifully edited by J. D. McClatchy. Nearly 1,500 pages in all, it represents an oeuvre so large as to make Robert Lowell’s prodigious output seem puny.