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Following the Light: The End of National Poetry Month April 30, 2011: “I had the idea that the world’s so full of pain it must sometimes make a kind of singing. And that the sequence helps, as much as order helps— First an ego, and then pain, and then the singing.” — Robert Hass, “Faint Music” In the morning, my man and I work in the kitchen. He writes about horse racing and I work on freelance [...] by

Response Burger: A Story of Rejection April 25, 2011: When I first moved to New York to go to NYU graduate school, I wrote a lot about laundry lines and sadness. I was a typical graduate student. Poor. Hungover. And staring out the window a lot, saucer-eyed and scared. I wanted to make great poems and I wanted to make my rent. I wanted to fall in love, and also (sometimes seemingly more than any of [...] by

I’m a Townie: Our Books as Places April 14, 2011: “Though you've never seen it before, it must be a town you've lived in all your life.” — Richard Hugo, The Triggering Town In an earlier post, Kathleen Rooney asks for a better metaphor for what our books become to us after they are written. I like that she emphatically denies that they are anything like, “our kids.” I admit, I’ve [...] by

Reviews & the Study of Us April 6, 2011: I've just read all the posts on here for National Poetry Month so far. Wow. What a wonderful group of writers and responders to the world. I am so appreciative to be a part of this community. As I mentioned earlier, I just finished speaking and reading at a poetry symposium in Texas. One of the subjects that we discussed is exactly what Rigoberto [...] by

Things That Help: National Poetry Month April 1, 2011: There's something so very appropriate about the fact the first day of National Poetry Month is April Fool's Day.  Like the world is saying, "Ha, ha, it's 'National POETRY Month'" in a sarcastic voice whilst using air quotes. But, no, really, it is. Like, for real. It's OUR MONTH. We get to do whatever we want this month. We get to eat whatever we [...] by

Mystery & Birds: 5 Ways to Practice Poetry January 13, 2009: Joshua Marie Wilkinson is putting together a group of micro-essay for teaching poetry to beginning writers. Though I'm not really a teacher, he asked me nonetheless. And since I have so many dear dear friends beginning their semesters this week, this goes out to them. Thanks JMW for inviting me to participate. Mystery & Birds: 5 Ways to Practice [...] by

The Cat’s Got the Poet’s Tongue May 30, 2008: I’m sorry that I haven’t been posting. Every time I got a free second to start a post, kerplop: A poem would come out. I suppose that’s no excuse or perhaps, in this setting, it’s the best (or only) excuse. But I do apologize for being remiss. Nevertheless, I was out with a friend last night (wait, I thought you just said, every free [...] by

Regional Homesickness May 21, 2008: In reading Linh Dinh’s wonderful post about Montana and thinking of Bill Knott’s insightful comment in which he asked, “Is the regional poet extinct?” I began to think of how regional poetry is defined and, indeed, how I might define myself. Having been in New York now for 9 years, where I hope I have not let the “hegemonic nets” [...] by

Shout Out to Latino Poetry Review May 16, 2008: “To be of the air. I'm saying this to myself like a prayer, because I don't know that we can be free—of nationality, body, belonging.” —Miguel Murphy from Blood and Breath: A Conversation There is very important new member of the poetry world. (This odd world of beasts and bones.) He is brand new and he is very handsome. He is made out of [...] by

The Fine Art of Mimicry May 15, 2008: “I will know my song well, before I start singing” —Bob Dylan, A Hard Rain’s Going to Fall I hope you got out your window yesterday. I did, just for a couple of hours, but it was worth it. My friend M (we’ll call her that) is a young, new poet and she’s learning how to write, and doing quite well. But she worries that she’s trying [...] by