Checking In...

Where I've been--

We have a wonderful exchange student from Japan staying with us this month so we've been busy exploring our the city and enjoying her company. It's been fun to see America through her eyes. She loves the water/ice machine in our refrigerator as well as the box of Cocoa Pebbles.

* * *

It's been a while, but today I actually found a poet I do not like at all.

All I will say is she has an MFA and is somewhere between the age of 25-40. Since I'm not here to slam any poet and I don't want to give her any bonus publicity (if all publicity is good publicity), I'm not going to mention her name. Let's just call her Childish. Or NoticeMe. Or NotGoodPoetry.

Basically, her work did not read like poetry at all but basically clever emailing. It was clunky, experimental in the worse sense of the word--in being different just to be different and not to achieve anything (I'm sure she would disagree with me). Her work wants to be noticed to be noticed and not because it's good or well-crafted or musical. It felt as if I was reading someone's high school notebook.

Though there is a part of me that wants to know why I dislike her so much. And then it occurred me--there are so many incredible poets who are more deserving of a book and it annoys me that paper was wasted on her.

And I know you're interested in knowing who she is and I know you want to know her name--I don't mean to tease with this post and I wish I could share her name--but I cannot say it because you may want to check out her book and well honestly, I don't want her to have anymore sales. Is that horrible to say? It's true. If she gets more sales, I will have to see another book by her and well, that could just put me over the edge.

* * Vent over * *

Oh and if you think it's you, it's not you. I'm pretty sure this person doesn't read my blog or would even know I exist.

* * *

On a positive note, I did just order OHIO VIOLENCE (Vassar Miller Prize in Poetry Alison Stine's new book and am so looking forward to reading it. Alison's been a favorite poet of mine for awhile now, I even have her chapbook LOT OF MY SISTER, so I'm thrilled to see her first collection and I know there will be much more from her.

* * *

Short Gratitude List of Poets Who Keep Me From Going Over the Edge

Nin Andrews
Lana Hechtman Ayers
Ronda Broatch
Kathleen Flenniken
Jeannine Hall Gailey
Jenifer Browne Lawrence
Rebecca Loudon
Natasha Moni
Aimee Nezhukumatathil
Nancy Pagh
Peter Pereira
Susan Rich
Martha Silano
Annette Spaulding-Convy

There are others, but I just needed to quickly remind myself that of some of the poets who paper is worth more with their words printed on them...



  1. Thank you for your honest post which made me smile and your list which coincidentally or not is very very close to my list except Ms Kelli R. Agodon is not on it and you must love your work first and foremost.

    w/v betatict which sounds like a saint somewhat, doesn't it? I think of you as somewhat saintly at least compared to me, which makes me a wee bit intimidated by you or scared of you but I enjoy your poetry immensely in spite of it.


  2. I will admit that over the years I've encountered a few poets whose names I prefer not to use in public. And likewise, they'll remain anonymous here.

    I'd rather talk about any number of wonderful poets whose work should be better known.

  3. Please don't go over the edge! You write one of the only blogs I can stand to read! Your words always make me feel inspired, calm, and BETTER. Keep them coming!

    Take a walk. Read something completely different than that bad book (like a children's novel or a trashy magazine). Bake. Write a real letter. Make a mixed tape. You know what to do to feel better. Your words help me to know.

    (and thank you for the kind shout-out)

    Ali Stine

  4. You know, I always think, when I read a bad book of poetry, well, at least I'm better than that! LOL. Think of it as an esteem-boosting exercise.
    Thanks for including me on your list. I also think of you when I want to feel cheerful about poets.

  5. Tease! You tell me your NotGoodPoet and I'll tell you mine.
    Yes, I have a shallow side.

    I agree with Jeannine, reading a bad book makes me think I'm a better poet than that! And there are so many good poets working hard to produce the best work possible that I try not to spend too much time on the bad apples.

  6. Thanks all!

    Yes, it is a nice little ego boost when you read something so bad. It was just amazing to me as it was published by a pretty good press. Nothing like Pitt or Boa, but a press you'd know the name of. Wasted paper.

    Thanks for all your good words! I appreciate them and hearing from all of you.

    And R.K. I'm not really a saint, I just play one on TV. ;-)

  7. Short Gratitude List of Poets Who Always Impress Me

    Kelli Agodon


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