Tribute to Jean C. Lee

Jean Lee was an amazing artist, writer, editor, and human being. I first met her when I was a student at Knox College and she was the technical advisor for Catch, the student literary magazine. She taught me most everything I know about editing and design. Later, after I had worked in Chicago for aContinue reading “Tribute to Jean C. Lee”

Poetry and Politics

This has been another busy week, which is to be expected, since it’s the last full week before finals. What I didn’t expect (until recently) was the news of Governor Barbour’s proposal to merge MUW with MSU. This has put everyone in high gear to respond and keep up with classes! I’ve laid down theContinue reading “Poetry and Politics”

Thoughts on narrative poetry

I taught a class on narrative versus non-narrative, associative or dissociative poetry today, and had the joyous realization that most of the class prefers narrative poems. That’s great. I love narrative as well, and often find myself writing poems that tell stories in one way or another. I’ve taught other essays that argue any poemContinue reading “Thoughts on narrative poetry”

Apologies to Chicago or ‘Truth’ in Poetry

As I wrote awhile back, we visited Chicago this summer. I got to read at the Uptown Poetry Slam and see old friends. We also drove around the city (driving the Loop on Sunday morning was delightful!), took the dog to the Montrose dog park, had Leona’s pizza in my old neighborhood, and had aContinue reading “Apologies to Chicago or ‘Truth’ in Poetry”

Literary Influence

More fun with computers and grading have kept me quiet this week. (Back up your data! I was glad I had when trouble hit.) I am figuring out the new book ordering procedures and getting caught up on my grading, too. I also experienced some of the fun of directing a literary event when oneContinue reading “Literary Influence”

Images and Ideas in Poems

Last week my poetry class was talking about images and ideas in poems, which has me thinking about how poets work with ideas. Images can be anything seen, felt, smelled, heard, tasted, or even imagined. So a subatomic particle, if visualized concretely in a poem, might be seen as an image. The airflow around theContinue reading “Images and Ideas in Poems”

Slam Poetry

Slam poetry has to be the complete antithesis of haiku. It is loud, long, and boisterous and only occassionally sweet or pensive. This summer I had the good fortune to return to Chicago and visit my old stomping grounds at the Green Mill Lounge on a Sunday night. Here, 23 years ago, according to MarcContinue reading “Slam Poetry”