The Writer

My first academic year at the University of North Texas will be over in a few, short weeks (tempus really does fugit). Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about one of my favorite poems by Richard Wilbur, “The Writer.” It’s a poem about learning and teaching, how difficult both kinds of work can be, the dangers that […]

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The Campus Novel

As part of my research for my current manuscript-in-progress, Wild Kingdom, I’ve been doing a lot of reading about the “campus novel,” that is, a novel that is set at an academic institution and that often deals with the palace intrigue of a department (most frequently, of an English department). This summer, I’m planning to (re)read […]

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The Manifesto Project

Another anthology that I’ve been delinquent in mentioning is The Manifesto Project, edited by Rebecca Hazelton and Alan Michael Parker. Here’s a description of this terrific book: The poetic manifesto has a long, rich history that hasn’t been updated until now. What does a poetic manifesto look like in a time of increased pluralism, relativism, and […]

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Bared

One of the hardest things about the rhythms of the academic year is that most of my reading for pleasure is relegated to winter break, spring break, and to the long stretch of summer. So, for instance, even when beautiful anthologies arrive in the mail (anthologies that perhaps include my poems), they often end up […]

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The Smell of Springtime

For many years now, I’ve been a passionate lover of perfume, a perfume nerd I call myself. My obsession with perfume became such a large part of my reading and writing that, in 2014, in collaboration with my friend Lindsay Lusby, I co-edited The Book of Scented: 100 Contemporary Poems about Perfume. Here’s a description of the anthology: What […]

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I’m the Poem-A-Day!

Today, the Academy of American Poets featured my “Syllabus for the Dark Ahead,” as part of its Poem-A-Day series. This poem comes from a manuscript that I’ve been working on since September 2016. Wild Kingdom explores what I’m thinking of as the “hidden, birdlike ferocity of academia.” While many of us hold cherished beliefs about higher education […]

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Dialogue of the Carmelites

Although I’ve been at the University of North Texas for nearly eight months now, I have only just purchased tickets to attend one of the University’s famed music productions (UNT is renowned for its College of Music and particularly for its top-ranked jazz program). I’m really looking forward to attending a performance of Poulenc’s Dialogue of […]

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Ekphrasis-in-Progress

The past few days, I’ve been spending a great deal of time with Francine Sterle’s “Self-Portrait as an Allegory of Painting,” an ekphrastic poem that takes a painting by Artemisia Gentileschi as its subject matter. As a current exhibit of Gentileschi’s work in Rome demonstrates, the Italian Renaissance painter is not only a great artist but should now also […]

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Eat this Poem

This is a really exciting first for me: one of my poems is in a cookbook! I am so happy and grateful to have my sonnet, “Tea,” in Nicole Gulotta’s new cookbook, Eat this Poem, which is out today from Roost Books. “Tea” appears in my fourth collection, Red Army Red, but I am so pleased to see […]

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Poetry by the Sea

From May 23 through May 26, it will be my great honor to serve as the first Poet-in-Residence at Poetry by the Sea: A Global Conference. Two years ago, I attended Poetry by the Sea, and it was a wonderful experience: four days of interesting panels, readings, and discussions, with a particular focus on diversity, inclusivity, and […]

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