Tony Hoagland’s America: Look Familiar?

If you're tired of empty phrases like "Build a Wall" and "Make America Great Again," you might consider Tony Hoagland's America for respite. At least you'd be a realist, and at most a decent judge of political poetry. Tony Hoagland's view of America is subtle, though. No in-your-face pronouncements. Just creative and philosophical riffs that …

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If You’re Trying To Be Cool, You’re Not

In yesterday's post, I wondered aloud about poets seeking publicity in a kinder, gentler way. In today's, I muse over just how cool it would be to have an understanding of those ways and not share them. Not share them? Right. Because feeling no need to share would be cool. Fact is, cool poets make like …

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Publicity Hounds from Hell

Note: The following is written for hounds trying not to bay like the Baskervilles. It explores Aristotle's philosophical conundrum: Can you self-promote your work without looking like you're self-promoting your work? Heed, then, the "sound" of trees falling in the wilderness.... I've written before that a part-time poet (full-time poets, like unicorns, are rare beasts …

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When “Required Reading” Is a Good Thing

In the back of the journal Copper Nickel there is a feature called "Required Reading." Usually those words bring fear and loathing to mind (we were students for years, after all), but in this case it is recommended reading from each author published in that issue of the journal for you, the gentle reader. What …

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Vital Signs for the Impatient Writer

Writers know they are alive by receiving rejections. Those rote e-mails in the inbox are vital signs--reminders of the obvious and the necessary. Receiving them is like focusing on the autonomous functions of your lungs breathing and your heart beating (Yep, all there and all working!) The trouble is, rejections (peppered with the powerful flavor …

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