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Category Archives: Events

“I can feel the movement from Theiclydes to Virgil like some guys feel the trading of a player from the Red Sox to the Yankees.”

I went to the third of this semester’s poetry Saturday University at Vanderbilt on March 23rd, where Garrett Hongo read and answered questions about poetry. The first two sessions were with Thomas Lux and Stephen Dobyns, and my notes for those are here: Notes from Thomas Lux; “The words go just so far, then you […]

Notes from Thomas Lux

I went to the first of this semester’s poetry Saturday University at Vanderbilt today, where Thomas Lux read and answered questions about poetry. Below are my notes, somewhat cleaned up for public consumption:   Read: “Refrigerator, 1957” “The Voice You Hear When You Read Silently” “Elegy for Robert Winner” “The People of the Other Village” […]

Angry Shakespeare says, “Who do you think you are?”

Today I gave a poetry reading (Science, Sonnets, and Speculation) at the Main Branch of the Nashville Public Library along with Mary Alexandra Agner (The Scientific Method; The Doors of the Body) and Peg Duthie (Measured Extravagance). I read three long poems from The Glaze from Breaking. We had a wonderful turnout of about two […]

the point where a charged particle caught in a magnetic field reverses its direction

Strange Horizons is having a funding drive. I first ran across Strange Horizons in July 2002, sitting in my brother-in-law’s office in Edmonton, Alberta while he and my sister were at work, during one of my long visits to stay with them and write. I was working on one of the poems from The Glaze […]

“That’s 400 years on the breasts. Think how boring that would be. At some point. 15 or 20 years in.”

Today was the second half of Vanderbilt’s Saturday University class with Billy Collins, “Under the Hood: The Mechanics of Poetry.” (I wrote about the first half here.) The bulk of the session was devoted to the kinds of “turns” a poem can take—that is, the developmental moments in a poem which turn our attention. In […]

No such things as distractions.

I attended the first half of Vanderbilt’s Saturday University class with Billy Collins, “Under the Hood: The Mechanics of Poetry,” yesterday. He started with the premise that the process of writing is a series of negotiations between the will of the poet and the waywardness of the poem, and that poets are the kind of […]

Rolled cuffs—

Four and Twenty just posted their March 2011 issue (that links to their link to it, but here’s a direct link to the pdf). My poem “Summer in Tennessee” is on the penultimate page before the bios. For those of you interested in genesis, it’s a failed haiku. I couldn’t compress it enough to make […]

He said there’s like a barn type thing around the back.


Inside the prison house of history

Last night I went to see Kate Daniels at the Vanderbilt Visiting Writers Series. So many people showed up that we had to trade rooms with a class in session to fit everybody in. I went with my new poetry friend Declan, who runs the monthly critique group I go to at the Nashville Public […]

“Fiction writers have to be interested in people. That’s not required of poets. Poets just need a deep interest in themselves.” – Billy Collins

I saw Billy Collins reading this morning at Hume-Fogg High School here in Nashville. He read a lot of my favourites (but not “Weighing the Dog” or “Hangover“): “Ballistics,” “A Dog on his Master,” “The Death of the Hat,” “Feedback,” “Forgetfulness,” “The Golden Years,” “The Lanyard,” “Oh My God” (“The past tense of ‘Oh my […]