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Daniel Westover
East Tennessee
Recent Activity
Robert, you certainly did that for me. It was very rewarding to revisit my graduate student days and reengage with this material. Doing so helped me realize just how influential it really was. Warmest, DW.
Thank you, David. It was really rewarding to revisit these essays, and I'm grateful for the forum that provided me the opportunity.
Mark, thank you for taking the time to read this. I appreciate it very much. What you and Robert did was bold, and I always admire boldness. If I ever write something that is still being talked about 30 years later, I'll be very satisfied indeed.
When I applied to the MFA program at McNeese State, the application process was straightforward: you sent some poetry or some fiction, and you either got a phone call or you didn’t. Test scores, previous publications, and GPA didn’t factor in. I sent the only six poems I had written. They were dreadful imitations of what little I had read, something like a mash-up of Robert Frost and William Stafford, but any grain of potential within them can be attributed to a gifted teacher, Peter Makuck, who taught my undergraduate poetry workshop with remarkable dignity and discernment. When I speak... Continue reading
Posted May 31, 2013 at The Best American Poetry
Last month while scrolling through my Twitter feed I came across a link to an article by Adam Kirsch in The New Republic titled “The Greatest English Poet you Haven’t Heard of.” This kind of title never fails to bring me running (or clicking) in the hope of discovering a writer I’ve been missing out on, someone I will fall in love with. It reminds me of the time I discovered a dusty copy of Patrick Kavanagh’s Selected Poems in Dauphine Street Books or, to go back a little further, the time my cool Aunt Jill, seeing my twelve year-old... Continue reading
Posted May 29, 2013 at The Best American Poetry
I am one of the (relatively) few American academics specializing in the English-language literature of Wales, sometimes referred to as Anglo-Welsh literature. The term that most of us working in the field use is Welsh writing in English, to distinguish the writing from the much older yet still thriving tradition of Welsh-language literature and to avoid being limited by the colonial connotations of anything following “Anglo” and a hyphen. As I travel to conduct and present research, the most frequent questions I am asked are not about the research itself, but about how I came to be interested in Wales... Continue reading
Posted May 28, 2013 at The Best American Poetry
Although I didn’t know it as a kid, my grandfather, Eugene (Eugenio) James Martinis—“Jimmy” to his siblings, “Marty” to me—was a Screaming Eagle, a paratrooper in the 101st Airborne. Technically Marty was my step-grandfather, but I didn’t know that, either, and it wouldn’t have mattered to me. When I was six, I visited a petrol station in the Mojave Desert, and the owner, a man that I later learned was my biological grandfather, gave me a mesh baseball cap with “Esso” stitched across the front. It was a cool hat with really loud plastic snaps, and I liked that it... Continue reading
Posted May 27, 2013 at The Best American Poetry
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May 23, 2013