The Unbearable Stiffness of Formal Poetry and Writing for the Page

Interestingly, Spiegelman nails the underlying problem with poetry in general, though he seems to imply it's a flaw related more to a poet's level of experience with form rather than an inherent flaw in poetry in general, but especially that written for the page. While formal poetry has never been my cup of tea, the vast majority of poetry -- formal and free verse, written and oral -- actually bores me to tears for the exact reasons Spiegelman notes.

Take This Job and Slam It!

All good things do eventually come to an end, and for me, on the heels of an amazingly successful DBW11, I realized I was coming upon a crucial fork in the road, and while the DBW path will surely continue to be an exciting one for those continuing on, it’s one I realized would ultimately take me away from my true passion: Books, Authors, Readers and the myriad connections still to be made between them.

Burning Down the House: True Story

Arguably my "biggest" publishing credit is co-authoring Burning Down the House: Selected Poems from the Nuyorican Poets Cafe's National Poetry Slam Champions (Soft Skull Press, 2000), and while I am both proud of and eternally grateful for its publication, its existence has more to do with timing and opportunism than the quality of the work therein. Besides my own attempts at zines and chapbooks, it was my first real introduction to the world of publishing, and it left a permanent mark that partly explains my cynical passion and/or pragmatic idealism for the publishing industry.

Three Rules for the National Poetry Slam

Eleven years ago next month, in Austin, TX, I took one of the most life-changing thrill rides ever when I attended my first National Poetry Slam, as a member of the 1998 team representing the Nuyorican Poets Café that would go on to become their first (and still only) team to win the Championship. The … Continue reading Three Rules for the National Poetry Slam