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Brian Brodeur
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Thanks again to Jim Cummins, Stacey Harwood, and BAP for asking me to guest-blog. It's been an honor to share a few thoughts on poetry and teaching creative-writing with the discerning readers of BAP throughout the week. Please feel free to leave a comment here or "friend" me on Facebook if you'd like to continue any of these conversations. That's really what blog posts are supposed to be: the continuation, not the ending, of a dialog. Or at least that's my hope. Yesterday I posted the first half of "Purity and Nonsense," which explores Paul Valery’s notion of Pure Poetry... Continue reading
Posted Aug 8, 2014 at The Best American Poetry
Kenneth Goldsmith, the Museum of Modern Art’s inaugural Poet Laureate, has been getting some press lately. With his pseudo-Dadaist philosophy of Everything’s a poem! Goldsmith has been regurgitating the perennial complaint that poetry is either dead or dying, infiltrating venues as public as The Colbert Report with his gospel of appropriation and “uncreative writing.” Clad in hot-pink pinstriped suits and bushy faux-fur coats, Goldsmith prescribes his miracle-cure to the masses (Poetry must go digital!), arguing that YouTube videos, image macros, and “hardcore programming” should now be classified as poetry. This radical redefinition, Goldsmith argues, is the only way to save... Continue reading
Posted Aug 7, 2014 at The Best American Poetry
I’ve started taking an unofficial survey among poets and writers still young enough to be labeled emerging. Whenever I meet a new one, I ask if she's heard of the poet Richard Frost. Though most have answered no, a few have responded: “Didn’t he write Independence Day?” or “‘Good fences make good neighbors’? Duh.” Neither Richard Ford nor Robert Frost, Richard Frost is the author of three collections of poetry; a jazz drummer and founder of The Catskill Stompers; emeritus professor of English at State University College in Oneonta, NY; and the spouse of the poet Carol Frost (who many... Continue reading
Posted Aug 6, 2014 at The Best American Poetry
During a recent conference meeting with a student in my Introduction to Poetry workshop, I experienced a rare (for me) fit of speechlessness. Actually, it happened twice. I’d asked my students, all undergraduate non-English-majors, to compose a list of three questions about their work, urging them to share any concerns they were too hesitant to voice in front of their peers. The most talented and driven writer in class—let’s call her Tiffany—asked two questions that made me squirm, though, in retrospect, they shouldn’t have. First, she grinned, glanced at the café table that separated us, and asked, “Is there always... Continue reading
Posted Aug 5, 2014 at The Best American Poetry
Thanks very much to Jim Cummins, Stacey Harwood, and BAP for inviting me to share a few thoughts on poetry this week. I’m honored. I have four posts lined up: three micro-essays and a rangier post I’ll divide into two parts. These vary in subject from sexual innuendo and the ethics of poetry-workshops to the search for Valery’s “La Poésie pure” in contemporary nonsense verse. But first, a return to the basics. Here’s a nuts-and-bolts piece on the pleasures and perils of mixed metaphor, which I offer as a kind of pallet-cleanser. (See? The urge to mix metaphors is strong!)... Continue reading
Posted Aug 4, 2014 at The Best American Poetry
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Aug 1, 2014