Sunday, January 23, 2005

I've been struggling with creating a bio for Rattle, who accepted my poem in November and is getting quite antsy to receive it. (whines) But it's hard! They didn't want a traditional bio, but something more about why I write. So I finally came up with this:

I have been a writer since kindergarten, when I wrote illustrated tales of shapeless purple monsters eating everyone and then crying. My themes haven’t changed much since then. I came to poetry after writing fiction for many years – I eventually came to dislike the awkwardness of “plots” and how false they seemed. Poetry seems to claim a lot less than fiction, and question more and in a way, leave more space in the universe. I read once in a Zen magazine that poetry is about “the space around it” – the white page between line breaks, the gap between the poem and the bottom of the page – and I think my writing tries to make peace with the space, use it in a way that gives the reader an opportunity to pause and make their own way, whatever that means.

1 comment:

As Bjorn said...

It's funny, but I think there is lots of what I would call 'plot' in your poems. What I like about poetry is the ability of language to hold far more in its little phonetic bits and in its spaces than you get to have in average communication or ordinary narrative writing. Of course then people accuse you of having a private language and they are usually right. I like the movement in your poems. I like the characters. I think I would like your fiction too. I tried to comment to your book cover and it wouldn't let me so let me put it in here: my friend in Virginia who's instrument of choice is an accordion (and has been for thirty odd years through many different groups, blues, zydeco, hard rock) would truly love this cover under that title. He once had a far side cartoon over his desk at the Illinois state museum labs where I knew him, that had a top part with people entering heaven, being handed a harp, and a bottom part with people entering hell and being handed an accordion. I'd at least look at a book with that cover.