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Showing posts from February, 2013

Mission: Conquer Library

I've known it for a while, but I was recently forced to face the fact, while going through my books, that among the writers I list as my "favorite", there isn't a single one whose entire body of work I've read. Atwood, Roth, Murakami, Denis Johnson - all writers I'm loyally devoted to, but I haven't read any of them extensively.

It's not a crime, obviously. I can only assume I'm not alone in this. Furthermore, I can still list Dostoevsky as a favorite, even if I end up hating something of his when I read it years from now for the first time. And yet, I've never felt quite right calling myself a huge fan of someone when I haven't read all their work.

My goal, this year, is to begin rectifying that. Which is also somewhat of a disguise for another goal - to read the books that are already on my shelf, instead of acquiring more. At the top of my list is to get through most of John Ashbery's poetry, and I don't know where I'll go f…

Jubilee Hitchhiker

I have mixed feelings upon finishing William Hjortsberg's biography on Richard Brautigan (which I won't go into here, because I already did here), but the one side of it I enjoyed more than any other was his journey through the writing and publication process. Before his major works were published, Brautigan, like most writers, received a lot of rejections, and the recurring reason was that publishers felt his work lacked cohesiveness as a novel. Known for short works with short, often disjointed, chapters and an arguably nontraditional plot structure and language style, Brautigan was probably considered experimental for his time, off-kilter, at the least.

What fascinates me is that he never once took such rejections as any kind of sign that he should change the style of his work. Somewhere in his head, he held such a certainty about, and passion for, the type of work he was doing that he could persist and proceed without doubt, until his career finally took off and he could b…

Poem In Dressing Room Poetry Journal

My poem "Camera" appears in issue two of Dressing Room Poetry Journal, and you can read it for FREE here. Definitely read the rest of the issue, as well, if you get a chance. I don't often come across a new journal that's off to such a great start, but the work they've featured so far is impressive and I find myself rereading much of it.