Interview with Obama Inaugural Poet Richard Blanco

richard-blanco_bccc_nov2016About two weeks after the 2016 presidential election, poet Richard Blanco came to Bucks County Community College for a reading to kick off the college’s Many Voices, Many Stories writing conference. Before the reading, Blanco and I sat down in a little stone cottage on campus to discuss the role of poetry in society, his own writing process, and some of the challenges facing people who enjoy the craft.  Read the complete interview at Cleaver here.

Poetry of the Pivot at Cleaver

I wrote a short essay on a poetry craft technique I call the pivot (I’m sure other people, if they have names for it, call it other things) over at Cleaver Magazine, where I’m also one of the craft essay editors.

Anyway, please have a look and let me know what you think. Read it here.




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Essay on Associative Poetry

“The discontinuity of the associative mode is an aesthetic response to the frenetic, anti-hierarchical experience of postmodernity, an experience in which the human psyche, assaulted by cable news and News Feeds, Twitter and text messages, suffers from a kind of perpetual attention-deficit disorder, leaping about, as these poems do, from one perception to the next.”  by Christopher Kempf in vol 64 issue 2 of Shenandoah (direct to essay). Here for the full issue.

And inside you’ll find this gem:

“When this balance is lost, when association shades into dissociation and a poem’s allusions seem too anarchistic, the poem becomes self-indulgent, its allusions a kind of private reference or inside joke to which the reader is not privy. Dissociative poetry—a term which characterizes much of our contemporary writing—brands itself as mysterious, postmodern, or playful when in fact such poetry tends more toward obfuscation, clumsily executed and, at worst, devoid of meaning. “Cute and empty” Mehigan calls this poetry; “privileging the arty over art itself,” says Phillips.”