E-conversations with Poets
I've been having an informal conversation over e-mail with a couple of friends about process. Much of it's about how we choose to do what we do in a particular collection. So the conversation's been more project-centered and global versus local and poem centered.
Rarely do I talk with my friends about what's going on locally in a poem because, frankly, I'm not all that interested in what's happening in an indvidual poem. I'm more interested in larger project aims when it comes to other work by poets. That's not to say I can't find wonder in an individual poem. I can and I do, but when I get a poet's book, I read it from cover to cover trying to understand the poet's "ethic" for a book.
Another part of our conversations had to do with our MFA programs and just what we got from our individual mentors--whether we can single out a particular lesson from each of our thesis committee members. Here's my answers:
Alberto Ríos--taught me about line breaks, poetic and manuscript form and structure.
Norman Dubie--taught me about how to get the most out of my imagination through persona and through personal assignments.
Beckian Fritz Goldberg--taught me about syntax and musical phrasing.
I see them in my work all the time. Lately, it's been Dubie and Goldberg creeping into my immediate compositions.
On my desk, Reliquary Fever, Silver Roses, Road Atlas, BlipSoak01, and The Poetics of Space. I'm trying to get into a writing mode by shuffling through books. I still have a looming deadline which is distracting from my composition, but that's certainly part of what I signed up for. I managed to write the poem below in a few minutes (it doesn't take long to write the poem, however revising takes awhile).