Robert Vaughan and I were interviewed by Stephanie Lecci on WUWM’s Lake Effect where we talked about the Middle Coast Poets reading series.
My new poem Anywhere But Here appears in Issue 73, the Spring 2013 issue of The Louisville Review.
You can see the Table of Contents here, view a .pdf file, or purchase your own copy.
Robert Vaughan and I got together for coffee a few weeks back and over the course of getting caffeinated and catching up on each other’s current writing projects, we lamented the fact that there really wasn’t any national poetry month events going on in Milwaukee this year. We joked that we should create one, and then it wasn’t a joke, and the planning began, and the planning for a one-off NaPoMo reading turned into an idea for a quarterly reading series. And so the Middle Coast Poets Reading Series was born! You can find us on Facebook here. We will have poets from Milwaukee and the surrounding states, and touring poets read each quarter, and we will alternate between the Riverwest and Bay View neighborhoods.
And our inaugural reading will take place on Monday, April 29th, at the Riverwest Public House at 815 east Locust Street in Milwaukee. The reading will begin at 7pm and go to about 9pm. The house serves alcohol, and books will be available from several of the poets.
The poets will be reading a favorite poem by someone else, followed by a few of their own, and are as follows:
Paul Scot August
Please join us at our inaugural reading and support poetry in Milwaukee!
Molly Snyder writes about poetry for OnMilwaukee.com and here she interviews several Milwaukee or Milwaukee-connected poets (including yours truly) about why they think people hate poetry.
“It’s funny, people I meet – non-writers – for the most part say they like poetry, but don’t seem to actually read much of it,” says August. “But so much poetry being written today is accessible and easier to relate to than maybe ‘The Wasteland’ or Pound’s ‘Cantos.’ And it is so good.”
Read it here and put Molly into your regular reading schedule. She’s a good one!
The Next Big Thing
Christina Lovin, author of the book A Stirring in the Dark (Old Seventy Creek Press, 2012) was good enough to tag me in the blog chain that is going around known as The Next Big Thing interview project. Thank you Christina! Here are my responses to the self-interview based on my (hopefully, someday) forthcoming full-length book of poetry Apologizing to Fish.
What is your working title of your book?
My first full-length manuscript is titled Apologizing to Fish. It is currently making the rounds at a whole bunch of poetry book contests and I hope it grows-up soon from a manuscript to an actual book.
Where did the idea come from for the book?
After several years of writing, revising, and publishing individual poems, themes and patterns presented themselves until it began to look like a book. The title of the manuscript comes from a poem I wrote about going fishing with my father and my son.
What genre does your book fall under?
Oh, it’s definitely poetry.
Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy for the love and relationship poems. Robert Duval to play the speaker’s father. Kathy Bates to play the speaker’s mother.
What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Narrative Explorations and lyrical bursts concerning dead and dying railroads, towns, parents, and relationships.
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
Well, hopefully it will win a contest and be published by a reputable press.
How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
I think after about three years of writing and revising and publishing this group of poems, I felt it was time to compile them into a book.
What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
I wouldn’t compare it to other specific books of poetry, but I would say certain books that I read during this time period gave me inspiration and pushed me to craft better poems than had I not read them. Other poets are my teachers.
Who or what inspired you to write this book?
While writing this collection of poems, I was reading and constantly returning to poetry by James Wright, Richard Hugo, Larry Levis, James Harms, Robert Wrigley, Keetje Kuipers, B.H. Fairchild, Dorianne Laux, Kim Addonizio and many others. They were both inspiration and poetry guides.
What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
The amazing cover, which doesn’t yet exist outside of my head. For the book which doesn’t yet exist. But *I* believe it will, and it will be amazing, this cover. Trust me. You’ll love it.
Some other writers and poets I have chosen to “tag” and who will posting their responses at the links below:
P.J. DeGenaro’s blog can be found here.
Terry Lucas’ blog can be found here.
Christi Craig’s blog can be found here.
Johanna C. Dominguez’s blog can be found here.
I will be attending the Palm Beach Poetry Festival, January 21-26, 2013 in beautiful Delray Beach, Florida. Now besides the fact that I will be workshopping with the amazing B.H. Fairchild, which is in itself reason to travel across the country, and besides the fact that the faculty is off-the-charts amazing, it will also be 75 degrees. In January. For comparison, it is currently 25 degrees here in Milwaukee, and icy. So yeah, see you on the beach!
Festival Faculty includes: B.H. Fairchild, Terrance Hayes, Jane Hirshfield, Tony Hoagland, Laura Kasischke, Thomas Lux, Tracy K. Smith, Lisa Russ Spaar, Marty McConnell, Rives, and Special Guest, Billy Collins.
You can find more about The Palm Beach Poetry Festival here.
Here is the description of the workshop I will be attending:
In my poetry workshop participants will critique each other’s poems, followed by a critique from me. Participants should bring along four or five samples of their own work (one-page poems preferred). We will use work by master poets to illustrate and discuss certain matters of craft. I will also make a poetry assignment or two during the course of the week based on the issues raised during our meetings and discussions.
More about B.H. Fairchild can be found here…
And here’s a favorite poem of mine by B.H. Fairchild:
Early Occult Memory Systems of the Lower Midwest
In his fifth year the son, deep in the backseat
of his father’s Ford and the mysterium
of time, holds time in memory with words,
night, this night, on the way to a stalled rig south
of Kiowa Creek where the plains wind stacks
the skeletons of weeds on barbed-wire fences
and rattles the battered DeKalb sign to make
the child think of time in its passing, of death.
Cattle stare at flat-bed haulers gunning clumps
of black smoke and lugging damaged drill pipe
up the gullied, mud-hollowed road. Road, this
road. Roustabouts shouting from the crow’s nest
float like Ascension angels on a ring of lights.
Chokecherries gouge the purpled sky, cloud-
swags running the moon under, and starlight
rains across the Ford’s blue hood. Blue, this blue.
Later, where black flies haunt the mud tank,
the boy walks along the pipe rack dragging
a stick across the hollow ends to make a kind
of music, and the creek throbs with frog songs,
locusts, the rasp of tree limbs blown and scattered.
The great horse people, his father, these sounds,
these shapes saved from time’s dark creek as the car
moves across the moving earth: world, this world.