This Rock Shall Shake Forth the Better Year

Time to reach out from the wintry basement perch of this writer. We’ve all cleared out from 2017 and all of creation around here feels cleansed from the meteor a few weeks back. Nothing like a giant rock blowing up above you to clear out the bad funk left from a year a lot ofContinue reading “This Rock Shall Shake Forth the Better Year”

Adherents to the Lyrics of the Places We’ve Lived: Notes on the Second Book.

So today it is. This is official release date for my second poetry collection, This City at the Crossroads. This is that moment where the writer rejoices, embraces the idea that their work has been brought forth to the world, and all the toil behind it is officially brought from the private shadow into theContinue reading “Adherents to the Lyrics of the Places We’ve Lived: Notes on the Second Book.”

The Small Books at the Heart of Literature Today.

Let me start by saying that summer is well upon us in the border region. It also goes without saying that the summer brings with it baseball both grand and small and all those memories that go with such a storied game. Sure, I grew up on Major League baseball with the Detroit Tigers justContinue reading “The Small Books at the Heart of Literature Today.”

May This Rock be Truth: Thoughts on the Newest Project

One of the best things with having completed a MFA is that you generally exit the program with more work than you would ever have thought likely to use. Truthfully, much of it can be left behind. But there are other bits, the stuff that marked a turn perhaps in the everyday often written underContinue reading “May This Rock be Truth: Thoughts on the Newest Project”

Improvisation as Narrative: Some Thoughts on Michael Ondaatje’s Coming Through Slaughter

Coming Through Slaugher Michael Ondaatje House of Anansi ISBN: 0-88784-051-5 156 pgs As a poet and a trained fiction writer, I generally greatly enjoy where lyricism and narrative meet and illustrate the world to us. Not to mention, I am a large fan of jazz from it’s origins a long the shadier streets of NewContinue reading “Improvisation as Narrative: Some Thoughts on Michael Ondaatje’s Coming Through Slaughter”

To Ponder in One’s Time Apart: A Brief Review of and Thoughts on Campbell McGrath’s Shannon

Let’s start here. I met Campbell McGrath during my first semester at Indiana University – Bloomington. He was in town to do a master class with my fellow MFAers and doing a great deal of talking about his most recent collection at that time, Seven Notebooks. He took time with some of early work asContinue reading “To Ponder in One’s Time Apart: A Brief Review of and Thoughts on Campbell McGrath’s Shannon”

Why Political Prizes Don’t Matter

Let’s start here: When I heard that Bob Dylan received a Nobel Prize in Literature I thought it was an Onion piece. Sadly, it wasn’t. I’ve enjoyed Dylan. My first published poem was actually an homage to his Nashville Skyline album set on the highways of Missouri. He is a first rate singer-songwriter that sharesContinue reading “Why Political Prizes Don’t Matter”

The Thing with Essays on Craft

Let me begin by saying this: Richard Hugo’s Triggering Town is one of the most important books that I’ve ever encountered. For those that aren’t familiar with either the collection or the individual essay, you should know that Hugo was the most important poet to come out of the Montana in the last century and theContinue reading “The Thing with Essays on Craft”

Competing Mythologies: Comparison is not Inclusion

So I was reading along in this fine copy I recently picked up of Ralph Gustafson’s Sequences when I came across his poem “At Moriane Lake” and was struck by something that I just haven’t been able to let go. The poem opens with the line “Canada, a country without myths.” Right away, I wasContinue reading “Competing Mythologies: Comparison is not Inclusion”