1 jun. 2005

At the risk of prolonging the meme or vogue of questionaires, I feel I must answer Radical Druids questions. After all, they have my name on them.

1. Do you write with the intent of submitting (and getting published)? Is that your primary objective in writing poetry (publishing to print media, or online journals, or other outlets [i.e., contests, prizes, etc.])?

I write with the intent on being published, but I don't necessarily write "for publication." Sometimes, though, I let the occasion of being asked for a poem generate the poem itself. For example, Tom Beckett was soliciting poems on "textual improprieties" and I wrote a poem to order called "Textual Proprieties." Gabe Gudding asked me for a poem for Spoon River Poetry Journal so I wrote a poem entitled "Spoon River Anthology," riffing on the E.A Masters theme. David Shapiro commissioned a poem from me on my Mormon background, and I wrote it, publishing the first section in the Hat. I like Spicer's idea in the book of magazine verse to write poems specifically for journals.

2. If submittal/publishing is not your primary objective, is there another outlet (regular public poetry readings, religious liturgy, slams, literary cameraderie/competition) for which you tend to write?

Publishing is not the objective. These are outlets, media, not reasons for writing.

3. Do you write poetry for other reasons (i.e., personal confessional, celebration of special events, academic requirement, etc.)? How much of what you write is for these "personal" uses, as opposed to ultimately for "audience" consumption?

That's a false dichotomy. The reason you write is always personal, but you still want what you write to reach an audience.

4. In any case, what percentage of your "audience" is other poets, versus non-poets?

Probably nearly 100% poets, but that is partly because I am an extremely unknown poet. I've never published a book of poetry, for example.

5. As relates to audience, what is the level at which you seek to connect with them (i.e., artistic, intellectual, emotional, political, spiritual, etc.), once you have them identified? Does "connecting" to your audience even matter?

These aren't really separate "levels." If there is no connection there is no audience. I like Creeley's idea of a "company" of poets.

6. As you explore those different aspects of yourself through your poetry, does that change your audience, make it larger or smaller, alienate it, etc.?

The audience is going to be small for the foreseeable future. I do have a very high quality audience for my poetry, though. Alienating my miniscule audience would be interesting.

7. What percentage of the "audience" for your poetry would you consider your friends or even acquaintances, if any?

I eventually end up making friends with all my readers. See answer to question 4.

8. In terms of well-crafted, do you think that craft (that is, skill of the poet in whatever genre or form they have chosen) is typically the criteria used in determining what is or is not published in the above? Or is it more likely to be what is considered "good" poetry by academia and its associated publishing press?

It depends what you mean by craft; I've always had problems with that word. What is considered good poetry in academia (but what part of academia; I am an academic myself?) does reflect a certain idea of "craft," which usually means conformity to a period style. I can see a more "skilled" poem being rejected in favor of an (apparently) less skilled one. When we say a poem is well crafted how is that different from simply saying that it is a good poem?

9. What is more important to you as a poet, assuming that you can only pick at most two of the following: that you be widely read, widely known, widely admired, widely quoted, or well-paid?

Obviously if you're known, your'e also read. You can't be widely quoted without being first well-known. I would like to be considered an indispensable part of the "company" of a poet whose work I admired. Giving that word "company" the inflection that it has in Creeley's work.

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