How to Write a Ghazal

I feel like I’ve finally had a breakthrough with the ghazal. Now, I won’t claim to be an expert—it will take writing many ghazals before I would begin to think I was even approaching that level—but I do believe I have the beginnings of a ghazal and a strategy for tackling the form. Ghazal’s don’tContinue reading “How to Write a Ghazal”

Of Lines and Sentences in Poems

This week, one of my favorite magazines, Birmingham Poetry Review, accepted two of my poems. They’re not that easy to get into, so I’m very pleased to have two poems selected for their Spring 2024 issue. In proofreading the poems before sending them back, I was reminded that they both have many more lines thanContinue reading “Of Lines and Sentences in Poems”

How I Became an Instagram Poet

Calling myself and Instagram Poet may seem like a bit of an exaggeration, but I am sticking my toe in those waters by posting my first ever published poem and my first published translations (which actually predate the first poem) on Instagram. My plan is to follow these with more poems, mostly from my firstContinue reading “How I Became an Instagram Poet”

Why Brag About Publishing a Poem?

Bragging is not something that comes naturally to some of us — then there are those who do it all the time and drive the rest of us up a tree.  So it doesn’t go without saying that you should brag about every poem that you publish. For some, it may seem ostentatious. After all,Continue reading “Why Brag About Publishing a Poem?”

My Poetry on Vimeo

Back in 2016, I had the good fortune to be part of the Mississippi Book Festival. I’m hoping to repeat that when my next book comes out (are you listening publishers?), but I noticed recently that the Book Festival put the panels on Vimeo. I knew this at the time, and I’m sure I evenContinue reading “My Poetry on Vimeo”

Happy 100th Birthday, Shakespeare & Co

This week marks the 100th birthday of Shakespeare & Company bookstore in Paris. Shakespeare & Co. is an amazing place, both for its beautiful interiors with floor to ceiling wooden bookshelves and for its long history as a meeting place for Modernist writers. It was also the scene of one of the most magical literaryContinue reading “Happy 100th Birthday, Shakespeare & Co”

The Personal / Universal Paradox in Art

The other day, one of my low-res MFA students, Dani Putney, and I were conferencing a poem and we got into a side discussion of the personal and the universal. Dani’s stance, which I agree with, is that the Universal doesn’t exist. (I’ll use a capital letter here, though Dani didn’t since we were talking byContinue reading “The Personal / Universal Paradox in Art”

Why I Bailed on a Book Deal

There’s probably not a happier moment for a writer than the moment an email or letter comes in saying you’ve been accepted. (Excluding major life events such as your wedding or the birth of a child, of course.) Nonetheless, that excitement can quickly change to concern or even disappointment when the acceptance is for aContinue reading “Why I Bailed on a Book Deal”

Poetry as Creative Nonfiction

This past weekend, I had a wonderful opportunity to read poems as the keynote speaker at the Mississippi Philological Association annual conference held at Mississippi Valley State University. For those who are unfamiliar with this fine organization, it is a group of English and Languages faculty and students (graduates and undergraduates) from Mississippi, Alabama, andContinue reading “Poetry as Creative Nonfiction”