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!
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…
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
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.