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18 October 2017

ELEVATOR PITCH for my new book-length, professionally edited manuscript of poems in search of a publishing contract—-


BREATH DEBT is about my keen sense of indebtedness to the airborne voices, songs, and gestures of other human beings. It is also about suffocation—my yearning for physical and emotional resuscitation.


Among the fifty-four lyric poems in this manuscript is a tribute to my father who died from pulmonary disease; a portrait of a gym coach who cheerfully forgave my incapacities; remembrances of my mother, whose last living breath I witnessed; and an elliptical, meditative series of sighful exchanges between me and my overgrown weeds.


Most of these poems begin with a quick inhalation, then expire easily and audibly down the page, emptying into the weightlessness of metaphor. As a writer indebted to Robert Frost (among many others), I purposefully shaped each of these poems to “ride on its own melting”—the melting of a single, momentary breath.



NOTE: from “The Figure a Poem Makes” by Robert Frost: “Like a piece of ice on a hot stove the poem must ride on its own melting.”



23 AUGUST 2017

I made this pin-hole camera for viewing the solar eclipse on August 21st. I covered the box with paper copies of various poems that employ “eclipse” as either subject matter or metaphor.


7 JULY 2017

In mid-June, I attended a retreat in Indiana called West of the Moon, during which I read my work at a poetry event hosted by the eatery Sara’s Harmony Way. (Photo credit: Terry Price)



1 MAY 2017

I’ve finished a full-length (book) manuscript to submit to poetry contests and publishers.


1 APRIL 2017

My poem “Tadic” is today’s 2017 National Poetry Month post on the blog of the Rensselaerville Public Library. To see my post, click HERE.

I thank poet Tom Corrado for inviting me to participate in this library project!

20 MARCH 2017

I am delighted to announce that I was a finalist for the 2017 Stephen A. DiBiase poetry prize. For a list of all winners and finalists, click HERE.


7 MARCH 2017

A Short History Of American PoetryA Short History Of American Poetry by Donald Barlow Stauffer

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This “short” history is 427 pages long (excluding Bibliographies and Index), but it’s eminently readable, not nearly so tedious as much shorter histories. This highly engaging book educates and entertains, enlightens and provokes, sensibly organizing about three centuries, 1600’s to circa 1970, of USA poetry written in English (omitting languages of native first peoples). Each of the twelve chapters begins with a brief overview of a particular literary era, then proceeds in sections, poet by poet, focusing on the major writers but also including some lesser-knowns. Donald Barlow Stauffer lavishes upon his readers the wealth of his scholarship as well as the vivacity of his enthusiasm. His knowledge extends beyond classroom essentials into the realms of juicy biographical tidbits, illuminating passages from many iconic poems, intricate webs of artistic influences, opinionated judgments upon the legacies of individuals. And all this, written in clear prose unhindered by academic pretense or jargon.

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