I fought Boston traffic (without even broaching the city limits) to reach Salem for a reason. I wanted to learn. Learn by listening to a poetry reading. And learn I did. In Ocean Vuoung, Sandra Beasley, and Martha Collins, I got three distinct readers and styles for the price of one. This at the 8th … Continue reading Tips Picked Up at a Poetry Reading
OK, I'll admit it. Not only have I never been to a poetry reading, I have never even considered it. The very idea of it is rife with clichés, for one thing. You know, some hippie-type who forgot time wearing an Existentialist, black turtleneck and beret while muttering navel-gazing notions into a malfunctioning mic. Whoo-we! … Continue reading Going to a Poetry Reading in the Witch City
"Ekphrasis" is a Greek word meaning "description." In poetry, it conjures a poem describing a painting or sculpture. Using the adjective form, we get "ekphrastic poetry," and although I have not written about a painting or a sculpture, I have written about a photograph. Is this "ekphrastic poetry"? Durned if I know. I suppose strict … Continue reading Ekphrastic Poetry (of a Sort)
As any parent knows, you don't play favorites among your kids. You can HAVE a favorite, of course, but you take that scandalous secret to your grave. If you have a toothpick of common sense, that is. For your children, circumspection is clearly called for, but what about your poems? Publish a book and people … Continue reading Playing Favorites with Your Own Poems
"One small step for the world; one giant leap for indifferent kinds." After traveling the highways and byways, Amish country and Shaker country, the past and the present, my shipload of The Indifferent World has finally landed. Here's a picture of Dad with baby in hands. Already established authors are vaguely amused by the fact that I … Continue reading The Eagle Has Landed!
In a 2005 press release upon the death of one of their own former professors, Louise Rosenblatt, New York University published an obituary that included these words about Rosenblatt's pioneering work on reading theory: "While teaching literature to college students, [Rosenblatt] developed an approach that broke with the dominant academic model (the New Criticism), which elevated … Continue reading Who Gets to Determine a Poem’s Meaning?
Is publishing poetry with references to family hazardous to your health? In a weak moment, I decided to test the theory by reading the proof of my poetry collection (I still remain bookless--where's Dan-O when you need him?) with my mom's possible reactions in mind. Bad, meet move! Like most of us, I know my mother … Continue reading Reading Your Book Like Mom Would
Today I bumped into an excited colleague. "Hey, I got your book yesterday. So exciting! I'm just bummed I forgot to bring it in for you to sign!" "My book? You held a copy of my book? In your hands?" Her smile shifted a little. "Ye-e-es," she said slowly. "You know: The Indifferent World? Some … Continue reading Tracking My Book Frontiersman-Like
The first days of being a published author have been, as you might expect, strange and wonderful yet mundane. Strangest has been my decision to share news about the book before I even had it in my hands. Many ordered it ipso fasto and, thanks to the Amazonian Gods, got it, too. This creates the unusual … Continue reading Waiting for Godot
T.S. Eliot? No. Me, actually. Just in time for National Poetry Month, the publication date for my first collection of poems, The Indifferent World, has arrived. Expect reviews in The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Boston Globe (who will try to claim me as "their own") soon. Just don't get too curious about the … Continue reading “April Is the Coolest Month.”