Issue 14 of The Blue Mountain Review is now posted online and it looks pretty amazing. The new issue includes work and words by Jericho Brown, Robert Pinsky, Melissa Studdard, Elizabeth Beck, Meagan Lucas, Lane Young, and a whole swath of other writers. There’s also a bunch of interviews, art, and essays, including one by me called “Everyone Has a Story to Tell,” in which I thumb back through the years to the time I was talking to a bunch of construction workers about writing and where stories come from while we drank happy hour beer in Jimmy’s Corner in NYC. They didn’t think much of my ideas, except one guy, and I hope that guy eventually told his own story, somehow. My thanks to the editors and Clifford Brooks as always for including my little piece. If you want to take a look you’ll find it on page 100. Thanks for reading!
The new issue of The Blue Mountain Review is now up, and it includes an essay of mine titled “Stepping Back / Stepping Forward” (on page 26) which discusses my month-long experience of stepping away from social media this summer to focus on writing. The break was a great way to re-focus, but I also found that stepping away from a few other things like Netflix, poetry readings, and even magazine submissions (yes, you read that right) also helped be move forward with the writing goals I set out for myself this year. You can read the essay, along with a ton of great poems, columns, and interviews, inside the new issue of The Blue Mountain Review, created by the folks over at the Southern Collective Experience. Thanks!
The third edition of my Bookshop Hunter column for the fantastic folks over at FIVE:2:ONE Magazine is now live over at their website. This one is has the headline "Don't Go back to Rockville," and concerns my REM-fueled road trip through upstate New York into the lovely towns and rolling hills of Saratoga and Washington counties. The trip includes a visit to a barn bookshop just outside of the town of Greenwich, NY, where I lived when I was a married young man years ago, and I hadn't been back in ages. The town holds both good memories and bad and I was somewhat apprehensive to return, for a number of reasons, but the lure of bookshops was too strong to hold me back. I hope you enjoy this third edition of the column, and feel free to check out the other editions or the more in-depth reviews of the specific shops mentioned in the column. Thanks for taking a look, and keep hunting those bookshops!
My short essay, "I Saw It On The Radio," now appears in the massive new anthology, From Somewhere to Nowhere: The End of The American Dream. This anthology is huge, and filled with fiction, essays, art, and more from artists all over the world, but was organized by a loose yet long-standing poetic collective called The Unbearables, who are based out of NYC. This book was in the works for years and I'm impressed by just how much they fit between the covers. The pieces focus on the experiences and observations on American life during and since 9/11, and its publication was delayed in order to include work that looks at our American life under Donald Trump's administration, capping the collection with a rather intense and anxiety-filled finale. My own piece is simply about my experiences on the morning of 9/11, and how I witnessed the towers fall while listening to live radio and watching it on TV at the same time. I was alone, but in a sense, I was with everyone listening in too, all watching the possibilities of a rather mundane Bush presidency crumble into eternal war and strife. The complexities of our world are not easily laid bare, but this anthology tries its best. Check it out if you can! It's a little on the pricey side, but you really get your bang for your buck. Seriously, it's hefty, you could knock out a burglar with this thing if you needed to. Enjoy!
I keep hearing fellow writers say we need art and poetry now more than ever in this era of rising nationalism and fear, but unless we make the effort to reach outside our artistic echo chamber, poetry may fail to provide comfort for our allies and weapons to use against our enemies in these trying times. I explain how I think we can all help make poetry the most embraced art form of our time in my new essay "The Closed Circuit of Poetry" in the new issue of The Blue Mountain Review. The issue appears online in PDF format and my essay is found on page 27, but there's a lot of great art, interviews, poetry, and prose throughout the issue, so take a look. Many thanks to the editors for allowing me to speak my mind in this essay, and thanks to you all for support.