Day 1 of Tupelo Press’s 30/30 Project

You can visit my blog to hear more about my forthcoming poems and audio readings of this endeavor with Tupelo Press.

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Graduate School Reading Update

As a new, transferred English graduate student at Western Carolina University, week one is already underway as of two weeks ago with preparations in reading. This is some of what I am currently studying as well as plans moving forward.

I am taking a course titled “Transnational Literature” in which I have read three supplementary essays on subjects varying from the concept of what a nation actually is and not just defined by a map, the concept of imagined communities, and the romantic movement of the novel in Latin America and its ties to the idea of political change. The text I am reading to bring these concepts into life is William Faulkner’s A Light in August.

I am taking a Methods course in which I am reading a rather expansive history of the discipline of English as well as its reported disorganization and strength in that faculty of its importance moving forward.

I am also taking a non-fiction course, the first prompt in which has already been accepted to Polychrome Ink Literary Magazine. It will be posted later this fall under my publications page.

What I am Currently Reading for May

The following books are those that I am reading and highly recommend for anyone who is interested in contemporary poetry. They range from contemporary issues on race and gender/sexuality to pop culture. Check them out!

One of my good friends and professors studied under this man and I can see much of his influence from his work in my friend’s. Galvin writes with a metaphysical touch in a contemporary syntax. The book is a collection of four of his major works and he is accessible at times and at others distant. I love the mixture of both. Highly recommend.

The concept of this first collection of poems from a veteran of PBS NewsHour is exactly about what it indicates: the news. Brown examines, with profound intimacy, what we consume as far as news and media. He works around the thematic treads of suffering and triumph, zooming in as well as abroad, in order to make our nightly rituals mean something surprising, gutting the reader with his detail and musicality.

Praised by Naomi Shihab Nye and Rigoberto González, as well as by my professor Dorianne Laux, her poems are witty, woven in love, and all objects are within reach for the taking. I recommend reading the poems “Sugar Pains Me” and “Passenger Pigeon Cloud.” These poems are filled with surprise and heartache. Sometimes formal in their construction and at other times informal, these poems are well constructed and artfully designed.

Beatty examines with almost overwhelming music and meter the value of hip-hop and Black American culture. Though first published in 1994, this book still maintains its relevance and is still sharp with humor. He has a completely hip honesty that makes the voice in these poems very likable, and easy to listen to. For avid hip-hop enthusiasts who don’t mind being “verbally mugged.”

I have always admired Hoagland’s ability to be easily accessible and yet still remain distant enough to show humanity in its futility and beauty. His fifth collection of poems, he is still showing us what it means to be American and human. “Ode to the Republic” and “Don’t Tell Anyone” are certainly two that will punch you in the gut.