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Eileen Myles. Photo: Shae Detar.

This week at The Paris Review, we’re turning our attention to graduation season. Read Eileen Myles’s Art of Poetry interview, as well as David Lehman’s poem “Commencement” and Venita Blackburn’s short story “Fam.”

If you enjoy these free interviews, stories, and poems, why not subscribe to read the entire archive? You’ll also get four new issues of the quarterly delivered straight to your door.

Eileen Myles, The Art of Poetry No. 99
Issue no. 214 (Fall 2015)

If I had been a good student and an achiever, I might have been excited by a more systematic approach to writing than what I do. People loved to throw around the word rigorous in the eighties. I’d go bleh. When I started to pull something out of the pool of incoherence, it was exciting in itself.

Commencement
By David Lehman
Issue no. 158 (Spring–Summer 2001)

They’re calling old people seniors
short for senior citizens but it’s as though
they’re still in college and can look forward
to graduate school at Purgatory State
or the University of the Damned and
I can see this poem is intent on being Catholic
though it started out agnostic …

Fam
By Venita Blackburn
Issue no. 226 (Fall 2018)

My lil sister/niece/granddaughter/baby cousin doesn’t know she’s pretty, so she asks everybody, one post at a time. Her mom showed up at her high school graduation, no one had seen her in eight years.

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Author: The Paris Review

Trumpery Resistance

Trumpery Resistance

17.99 - 27.99eBook: $4.99

MacKenzie Dillon serves as a as a protectorate soldier in the New Republic, a new order that was created from the ravaged mind of a leader who had long ago given up his sanity. Now the New Republic is protected by a wall that keeps out everything that exists in the Wastes and keeps everything within it subjected to the severest restrictions of freedom and mental conditioning.

But MacKenzie is having flashbacks from his youth. The conditioning he has undergone is failing and with it comes a new realization that he is not what he thought he was. Confused by the change in circumstances, he takes on a role that allows him to infiltrate the resistance.

There he uncovers the real reasons behind America’s decline and the formation of the New Republic. But there’s yet more. A secret Caste called the Omega who really controls everything, the truth about the destruction of half the country and a deadly plot that has been set in motion against neighboring nations.

MacKenzie’s quest for the truth and justice is just beginning. But is the way of the resistance any better than what the nation already has?

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