I Have Never Won a Super Bowl But I Have Won Some Poetry Slams

Hi friends,

As many of you know, I have a love/hate relationship with poetry. Or maybe I should say a get it/don’t get it relationship. But poetry has made a comeback in my life the past couple of years. Take a look at my Goodreads page! It’s chock full of the stuff. I even started writing and publishing some again. This after claiming “retirement” from poetry in the late-90s, after a few years of being a Portland Poetry Slam regular (I was on the team from 94-96 and was even on the cover of the Willamette Week once).

Some of the folks who’ve inspired my new interest in poetry are hot new bloods like Ben Mirov, Zachary Schomburg, Gregory Sherl, Ariana Reines, Emily Kendal Frey, Mark Leidner, Sommer Browning, and Jenny Zhang. Not to mention my recent discovery of the legendary Sharon Olds.

Reading more poetry in the past year or two has also been a big influence on how I’ve been writing my novel, This Is Between Us, which I just finished a first draft of. Hooray for me! I hope to get it polished up over the summer and then submit it to publishers at that time. Stay tuned for more news about that.

For now though, I’m excited to announce a couple of my new poems today at Metazen. And look–I’m even growing out my “beard” so I can even look like a real poet!

The Poet at his home, June 2012.

Whenever I write poetry, I think/worry about a few things:

1. Is this worth anything? Will it ever be in a book, or does it hold the artistic longevity of a tweet or Facebook  status update?

2. Will other poets like me or do they just think of me as a poser?

3. Should I be studying what makes poetry good, like in an academic setting, and should I be trying harder at this?

4. By putting in a sports reference, am I ruining the form? Am I a ruiner?

5. How much honesty should I mix in with shenanigans?

6. What is the difference between a really good haiku and an advertisement for liquor?

7. How much longer should I not shave?

I will try to stop worrying. In all honesty though, I do write poetry to convey something and I hope you enjoy it.

What else is happening?

I am STILL talking about A Common Pornography to anyone who will listen! Hahaha. Recently, I spoke to a book club that met at the Powell’s Cafe. Photographic proof…

Some very nice Book Club members

If YOU want to talk about my book for a book club, I’m always game to come visit you and talk about it or even Skype with you! Don’t hesitate to ask: kevin@futuretensebooks.com

Also also–I’m hosting a super fun outdoor reading at the end of the month (June 26th at Colonel Summers Park at 7pm) with awesome writers Chloe Caldwell, Matthew Dickman, and Diana Salier. I hope to see you there. Maybe we can play some football in the grass before the reading.

Until later…bye bye.

3 responses to “I Have Never Won a Super Bowl But I Have Won Some Poetry Slams

  1. You are like my beloved Buffalo Bills. In more ways than you might think (at least to me–that’s a good thing!). Also, might I suggest Jennifer Denrow’s California (Four Way Books). This book. Her poems. My husband and I tried to pay her to read them to us in bed. Also, it’s interesting to me, as a person “raised” in poetry in graduate school, (although I abandoned writing it, although not really, not for myself) how much I’m hearing about Sharon Olds these days. Her name was synonymous (for reasons I never understood) with Billy Collins–which meant bad–she’s NEVER MENTIONED or at least wasn’t in my grad programs. I, personally, am happy that more people are bringing her up.

  2. I think I had to study poetry, I’d like it less.
    Funny thing you say about Olds. I always thought she was like for serious poetry people. I know folks diss on Collins (never really read him) but she seems pretty different from him.
    And yes–I did read that Denrow book and thought it was really good too. Even hosted here for a reading last year.

  3. Oh I have had a similar “get it-don’t get it” relationship with poetry…and what I “get” IS pretty specific to what I enjoy reading anyway…..but I am so loving having the opportunity to have my opinions changed..not to mention just the wonderfulness of meeting so many really cool writer people!! It’s a big deal for me !I love it!

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