About 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.
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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I wrote a mini essay on poetry workshops, audiophiles, dog shows and car radios over at Superstition Review. You can read it here.
And here’s something I wrote about the issue a few years ago. It’s not a dead horse if it’s still kicking you in the balls.
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“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.”
My short review of the new collected poems of Frank Stanford, What About This, is on the Rattle web site now. Read it here.
I know this essay is a few years old, but it’s a good one, especially for young or relatively new poets.
I especially like point #3 (Do consider your reader’s experience.), though I think that issue could have been explored even further.
Anyway, check it out here at The Poetry Foundation.
Here’s another father/daughter poem (I do embarrass them so) published in a recent edition of the online journal One, by Jacar Press. Check it out here.