Poetry We Admire: Hybrids


This month, our team has curated a selection of Hybrid poems, selected by Ben Bartu.


is inversion comforting?

from "Questions to Ask After an Estranged Departure (Maybe We Will Talk in the Spirit World)"

by Gillian Joseph in The Ex-Puritan

One tool the poet uses more than any other writer is the page’s white space. Gillian’s poem here has evolved that tool further—the white space is no longer white, but an overlapping and cascading collage of imagery that challenges and builds the piece’s tonal atmosphere. Gillian set out to write about “the unique kind of grief that arises when we lose someone who we’ve had a difficult relationship with”—and their success is in no part to the geographical experience of reading the work, the traversal that both asks more of the reader than they are use to, as well as give to the reader more than they are use to.


All Google gives me is a river

from "On February 14th"

by C3crew in Reed Magazine

C3’s innovation aims not just at challenging the sense and expectation of margin, but also of the sacrosanct title itself. “On February 14th” complicates our expectation of the width and breadth of a piece—two poems overlap and become one, as two lives, a father and son, overlap and become one: “I pressed / my forehead / all my life / river valleys of ars / to / the / veins of my father’s hand.”

The shaft of the present is collapsing, and yet (or and so) we pull harder

from "Essay on Tilt"

by Kimberly Quiogue Andrews in Guernica

An incredible work of art, Kimberly’s prose poem shifts and weaves with the grace of an animal—dancing from image to thought to metaphor to grief and further grief. As a prose poem, “Essay on Tilt” conquers the question of form by paying it no mind. With words like these: “my small and pale green mind like a fist;” with ease-of-truth as this: “I give myself each hour a small poisoned gift, which is the hour itself;” the margin need not play any part at all.