Author Archive

She Loves Me, She Loves Me Not: the Love Poem and the Elegy

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All of my attempted love poems sound like elegies, and so I’ve given up trying to write them for my beloved, lest I give the wrong impression. Occasionally, however, one will come to me like a windfall, a speck of gold in the pan.

Earing the Clink of Chisels: An Imperfect Love Letter to Reading Literary Magazines

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Every time I pause in front of a stack of lit mags at my house, I find myself flipping through one for a morsel. Gimme something good. I find myself re-reading things I’ve already read and feeling surprised by them again and again, as if the magazine keeps

White-Out Conditions: Poetic Page, Scale, and Scope

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It’s snowing again, and the world contracts, like my heel’s screws in the cold. The sky and ground reflect one another, white-gray, and the space between the two becomes more tangible, more intimate in the precipitation’s revelation of how far it has to go.

Aloud Poetry

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For so long, I’ve heard academic poets and readers disparage poems written to be spoken aloud, condemning them as less thoughtful, as noisy and navel-gazey, their craft less delicate and considered.

Truth & Dread: Why Poetry Still Matters & The Risk of (Too Much) Empathy

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If the question is whether most Americans are reading poetry, the answer is—I won’t sugarcoat it or fudge the numbers—“no.” My mother doesn’t read poetry, unless it’s mine. Does yours?

The Silence Waits, Wild To Be Broken: Posthumous Publications and the Lives of Poems

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My role on the uncollected was simple: as a third-year grad student in Virginia Commonwealth University’s MFA program, I was to go to the Levis Archives held at VCU’s Cabell Library and check old xeroxes against the holdings to make sure these were the last drafts of the poems.

It Might Be Lonelier Without the Loneliness: Poetry and Loneliness

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Poems, for me, are the epitome of Dickinson’s capital-L Loneliness, that loneliness that accompanies and keeps one from feeling utterly alone, its shadow-shape, its cameo presence.

Phonesthesia: Poetic Sound and Diegetic Noise

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Can poetry, through its command of sound, represent physical spaces, objects, and movement? Can one describe something—a setting, a object, a person—and also synesthetically render it for the reader?

Urgency: On Writing About the Body and the Corporeality of the Lyric

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A few years ago, I spent a good hour on a medical table, swaddled in a pale blue paper sheet, supine in the shadow of a plastic surgeon who had had to numb my face with three full syringes of lidocaine.

The Cost of the Academic Job: A Personal Narrative

Author: | Categories: Writing, Writing Advice No comments
A few years ago, a small university invited me on an MLA interview for a tenure-track assistant professor position teaching publishing and creative writing. The hiring committee assumed I would be attending the conference and so told me when and where to be.