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My Poetry Picks for 2013 December 9, 2013: My top five poetry books of 2013 (In no particular order, really. These books are all worth your time.) 1. The Year of What Now, Brian Russell, Graywolf It’s happened before that someone I know [...] by

Why I Write About Animals, or, My Body Is the Animal I Write About April 24, 2013: When I was 8 years old I took a shit on my carpeted bedroom floor because my younger brother made me angry. I did this while glaring at him, just so he would be sure I was doing it on purpose. 30 [...] by

‘We’re Not Here to Describe Things to People, We’re Here to Produce Things in Them’: An Interview with Donald Dunbar April 16, 2013: Donald Dunbar (sometimes referred to as “Little Donnie Dunbar” by people just outside of my direct line of vision at AWP Boston 2013) holds an MFA from the University of Arizona, where he [...] by

To Anyone Who’s Ever Written a Poem or Even Is Just Thinking about Trying It Soon: A list of DOs and DON’Ts April 4, 2013: 1. DO keep in mind that these things have already been done a lot in contemporary poetry: titillated use of unusual-ish and admittedly sonically pleasing words like cochlea, rivulet, and sluice; [...] by

How to Write a Good Rape/ Suicide/ Break-Up/ Genocide Poem, or Lightness as the Necessary Companion to All That’s Sad and Disturbing April 2, 2013: People have been asking me what I’ve been writing lately. That’s more or less like asking “What have you been thinking about lately,” to which I could reply “appropriating men’s fashion [...] by

Shop Talk: Bly, Levis, and Edson on Poetry and Poetics March 19, 2013: I like to talk shop. I also like to listen to other people talking shop, even if their shop is not my shop (poetry, pedagogy, responsible agnostic living). Being stimulated, educated, and comforted [...] by

Notes from the Fence Family Brunch, Part 2 (AWP 2013, Boston) March 14, 2013: Earlier this week I posted Notes from the Fence Family Brunch, Part 1, wherein I covered topics such as: Fence managing editor Rob Arnold’s possible contribution to statewide gun violence in [...] by

Notes from the Fence Family Brunch, Part 1 (AWP 2013, Boston) March 12, 2013: Each year the Association of Writers & Writing Programs (AWP) holds a conference in a different US city that, for about 4 days, will swarm with (among others) poets, novelists, essayists, [...] by

The Average Fourth Grader Is a Better Poet Than You (and Me Too) March 5, 2013: While in graduate school at the University of Houston, I supplemented my income by working as a writer in residence for Writers in the Schools (WITS). I was with WITS for three years, during which I [...] by