Tuesday, October 31, 2006

On Reading

I usually have eight or ten books going at once. This is easy enough with poetry; over the course of a month or-so, I simply dive in and out of the books piled next to my big red reading chair. It's more difficult with novels and short stories. Because I am primarily a poet, I don't read a great deal of contemporary fiction-- at least, not compared to the reading lists of those who write serious literary fiction. I tend to read fiction from authors I've previously read. My favorites include Jim Harrison, Tom McGuane, Annie Proulx, Joy Williams and Rick Bass. I'll read anything new from them and will be curious about the work of anyone who writes out of that lineage.

By contrast, I read everything I can find in contemporary poetry, whether the poet is someone whose work I "know" or not. I'm curious about what poetry is being written without regard to school, press, style or content. I do like certain poetries (and poets) better than others, but my curiosity (in poetry, at least) is larger than my preconceptions and prejudices. Like a dutiful jazz musician, I want to hear it all.

Over the next several posts, I'll be talking about what I'm reading. I would love to hear your comments and recommendations.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Just Checking

I tried to get onto this site on Saturday and couldn't. This entry is just to makes sure that I do have access today.

More later!

Friday, October 27, 2006


For about a year I've been thinking about starting a blog, and finally decided to do so. I am a poet who lives and works in West Michigan. I am a graduate of Albion College and the University of Michigan Law School. I am also a graduate of the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College in Swannanoa, North Carolina. I have published two full-length collections of poetry: Holding Down the Earth (Sky Books, 1995), and A Path Between Houses (University of Wisconsin Press, 2000) which won the Brittingham Prize. A third full-length collection, Figured Dark, won the University of Arkansas Press Poetry Prize and will be published in the fall of 2007. I have also published two chapbooks: Eros, Psyche and the Death of Narrative (Candle Creek Press, 2006) and The Afterlight (WVU-Legal Studies Forum, 2006).

When not writing, I work full-time as corporation counsel for a local government and also teach part-time in the English Department at Hope College in Holland, Michigan.

I am looking forward to writing this blog and to hearing from you.