My Ph.D. colleague, Dante Di Stefano, recently had an essay published by Shenandoah. The essay, “A Defense of Train Wrecks: Lyric Narrative Poetry and the Legacy of Confessionalism,” makes a fine case for narrative poetry today. Not only does the essay give a deep reading to some of the best contemporary narrative poets, including Joe Weil, Maria Mazziotti Gillan, Denise Duhamel, and Sharon Olds, but the essay looks at the history of that mode of poetry, going back to Robert Lowell, John Berryman, Sylvia Plath, and Anne Sexton, viewing their work as a reaction against Eliot, Williams, Pound and other Modernists who often fractured narrative.
This essay gives a good reading and deep understanding to the last several decades of American poetry. Check it out.