KY Writers Steven Michael Carr and Dean McClain 1pm today!

Steven Michael Carr works as a Staffing Coordinator and an Independent Community Facilitator in Louisville, Kentucky. He writes on the side. He is currently editing his first novel and working on too many other things at the same time. Steven received a degree in English from Bellarmine University and plans on one day obtaining an MFA in Creative Writing.

Dean McClain is a Shelbyville native and University of the Cumberlands alumnus. Dean is the author of two chapbooks of poetry “Splitsville…” and “Exit, Netherville”. Dean McClain has won awards for his poems and has also appeared on “The Viking Hillbilly” CD with Ron Whitehead.

Expect a variety of regional themes spanning genres today on Keep Louisville Literary on ARTxFM Louisville !

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Mary Popham 12-5 and Cutter Williams 12-12 on KLL RADIO

Tune in to Keep Louisville Literary this Thursday at 1pm when Rachel Short will host author Mary Popham (MFA, Spalding) whose first novel “Back Home in Landing Run” was published in October. Mary’s essays, poetry, and stories have appeared in New Southerner, Appalachian Heritage, and the Louisville Review.

Cutter Williams, editor of Calvacade literary magazine, will join me Next Thursday December 12 at 1pm to discuss the future of Calvacade, read some contributors  (past contributors include Ryan Davis CO of Sophomore Lounge records and organizer of Cropped Out music fest annualy here in Louisville, and other notable locals) and also some work of his own. Cutter is a returning Louisvillian eager to showcase local writers. Calvacade is accepting submissions for poetry, short fiction, and non-fiction until Jan. 15th. Tune in to Keep Louisville Literary every Thursday at 1pm on http://www.artxfm.com and support your local literary arts and artists!

(p.s. ARTxFM is currently in the running for our very own FM frequency which will allow us to reach most of the metro area. Keep an eye peeled for the day you can tune in on your car stereo, etc. and wish us luck!)

Thursday 8-1 KLL Radio welcomes Sean Patrick Hill!

Thursday I’m welcoming Sean Patrick Hill to the studio. The show streams as always, 1pm on http://www.artxfm.com. Sean is the author of three books of poetry Interstitial (Blazevox, 2012), The Imagined Field (Paper Kite, 2010), and Hibernaculum (Slash Pine Press, 2013); he is also a journalist and non-fiction writer. You can read about his recent pubs and books here.

Sean read at Holler Poets last week, Speak Social last fall, Chicago, Chattanooga, Pittsburg, Raleigh, and elsewhere in the last sixth months. He’s hard-working poet, father, and educator with a profound interest in and reverence for his literary idols.

We will talk about his new book, his recent experience graduating from Warren Wilson’s MFA in creative writing, and hear poems old and new. I’ll also be announcing upcoming regional and local contests, readings, and other opportunities to get involved with literary culture in Louisville, KY and nearby!

Literary Event and KLL radio!

Next weeks guest on Keep Louisville Literary (7-18 at 1p on ARTxFM) will be award winning poet and UK instructor Adam Day who’ll talk with us about his time in NYU’s MFA program in Creative Writing, and working toward a better literary community with Louisville Literary Arts!

July 19th from 6-8p Homegrown Art, Music and Spoken word will feature poet W. “Bill” Loren Smith. Event hosted by Bobbi Buchanan of the New Southerner journal. Cedar Grove Coffee House 142 Buffalo Run Rd. Shepardsville, KY

July 28th at 5:30p Stone Soup returns to The Bards Town (1801 Bardstown Rd. 40205) with poets Mark Webb, Devin Payne, and Robin Bensinger.

BOTH EVENTS BEGIN WITH AN OPEN MIC, sign ups 30min before show time.

Late June lit events in Louisville and Lexington!

Tonight 6/24 Sarabande hosts poet and Ball State prof Mark Neely, as well as Iowa MFA grad Lucas Mann. 7pm at hotel 21c on w. Main Street Louisville, KY. Music by Kirby Gann and Patrick Donley to start

Wednesday 6/26th Holler poets welcomes Tasha Cotter and Sean Patrick Hill to Al’s Bar in Lexington, KY at 8pm. Open mic to start with sign ups at 7pm. Music by Cabrew

Sunday 7/30 Stone Soup will be for the first and only time an all open mic event. 12 spots 5pm (signs up at 4 or 4:30) at The Bards Town 1801 Bardstown Rd louisville, KY 40205

Discussing the Experimental and Pastoral with John James

John James (co-curator of Speak Social) will read this coming Wednesday, January 9th, 2013 @Decca (812 E. Market St. Louisville, KY) for Subterranean Phrases, 9pm with accompaniment by fellow poet and improvisational guitarist Misha Feigin. Note: This event is late, but starts promptly whenever possible. There are also 5ish open-mic spots to open and 5 spots after the featured set.

Keep Louisville Literary: Your poems often embark on surrealistic journeys combining spiritualism and ritualism from several world religions. Please share where these inspirations stem from; what interests you about religions particularly?

John James: I wouldn’t say several world religions. In fact, I’m not a religious person at all. Anything “religious” in my poems, per se, has only to do with shedding the Catholicism of my youth, which really has more to do with the development of autonomous rational thought than with faith or doubt. As I’ve grown, the speakers of my poems tend to grow more critical of their environments, sloughing off religion in the process.

KLL: You implement a studied lexicon, by which I mean deliberate more than academic. Having many poems with naturalistic Kentucky themes, having grown up here in Louisville, and having completed your MFA at Columbia in NYC, how do you reconcile these seemingly disparate spheres of literary influence?

JJ: It’s always been a struggle for me. How do I reconcile the metropolitan with the provincial, the experimental with the conventional? The latter has been the most difficult struggle, actually. For a long time I felt, and sometimes still do feel, that I needed to write one uniform type of poem, that my work needed to fit into a mold, and that mold had to be either experimental or conventional, but not both. Once I started compiling poems into a manuscript, I realized that possessing some inclination toward experimentation, some toward convention, some toward playfulness and some more toward seriousness, actually enriched the book. The playful poems augmented the gravity of the serious ones, as hectic cityscapes contributed, by contrast, to the tranquility of the pastoral “Kentucky” setting. So actually, I reconcile disparate spheres by including and attempting to balance the very disparity that irks me.

KLL: I’ve noticed that, although your poetry is predominantly concerned with images and perception, you also muse on the ability of our language to capture memories and meaning. Could you expand upon your view of poetry’s role in framing our experiences or our living world?

JJ: My friend Kyle Thompson always says “the poem is a record of the poet experiencing the otherness of his/her consciousness,” and I think he’s right. There is the poem, and then there is the act of writing the poem. Writing is an active process, a brief time span during which the poet engages intensely with language and thought. For me, few other experiences are as pointed and intuitive as this one. All prior attempts to write are focused into that one experience of writing. In a sense, the poem is a sum of accumulated experience poured into a material product. Of course, that experience is transitory. The poem does “capture” memory and meaning, but it’s really just a memorial to the process of writing, a gravestone to an ephemeral state of knowing. At best, the poem is an object, a document; at worst, it’s a commodity.

KLL: Within the poems which take place on an unnamed Kentucky farm, we see extended observations which sprawl into hypotheses of events experienced by a lone person (i.e., “His Angels Especially Amaze the Birds”), or alternatively, swaths of memory recalled by a younger man or boy (i.e., “Years I’ve Slept Right Through”). To what extent are these poems autobiographical, or are they perhaps written based loosely on one or several persons you’ve known?

JJ: Actually, those poems aren’t autobiographical at all. In fact, almost none of my poems are, at least not in the sense that these events actually took place. They are autobiographical in the usual sense, in that I write what I know, and the landscape is definitely my own. The barn in “His Angels” and other poems was situated just behind a house I lived in for seven years, from seventh grade until I left for college. But the stories in those poems—the drug addict who doesn’t realize his lover is dead, for instance—didn’t necessarily happen. I did include some biographical elements here and there—the dog running circles in “Beneath the Trees at Ellingsworth,” or the goat with the splayed belly in “Kentucky, September”—but for the most part, I use narrative as a tool to explore some central idea in a piece, which is what I’m really after in those poems.

KLL: Your newer long poem, “from History of Sexuality”, is an experiment in which you’ve excerpted and collaged text from Michel Foucault’s The History of Sexuality. In my observation, this is far removed from your usual poetic. Beyond the endeavor of collage, this rolling treatise on power relationships and the comparison of navigating sexual experiences to the pitfalls of political arenas eschews both characters and visceral observation. What led you to venture into this particular experiment, so far removed from your particular “voice”?

JJ: I’ve been playing a lot with textual appropriation recently—actually, I‘ve been doing so for several years, but few of my early experiments made it past the workshop. There’s even one poem in the chapbook, “The Healers,” which forms a narrative around fragments of appropriated text from Che Guevara’s journals, but that project works on a different scale than “from History of Sexuality.” The movement to pure collage, the change in subject matter, it all emerged from reading Foucault’s text and locating fragments that piqued my interest. Lineating those fragments brought an element of sensuality to Foucault’s clinical tone, eroticizing the text in interesting ways. If you’re familiar with The History of Sexuality, you know that Foucault argues for the liberating possibilities of transgressive eroticism, so the mere act of lineating (and therefore, eroticizing) Foucault’s language lent a derisive element to the text, which in a way embodies Foucault’s argument, but at the same time, satirizes it.

John James holds an M.F.A. in poetry from Columbia University, where he received an Academy of American Poets Prize. His poems, essays, and reviews have appeared or are forthcoming in Boston Review, The Kenyon Review, DIAGRAM, Pleiades, and elsewhere.

Note: John James will also be appearing later this month in Lexington, KY @ Al’s Bar for Holler Poets #56 January 22nd, 2013 at 8pm. The regular Holler crowd very hospitable, and the event features ten open-mic spots (1 piece per reader) to open.

Jessica Farquhar on Poetry, Purdue, and Her Personal Writing Process

Poet Jessica Farquhar will read Friday at 7pm with fellow poets Ada Limón and S. Whitney Holmes for Speak Social Presents Catch Up Release Party at Java Bardstown (1707 Bardstown Rd.).

[Comic artists from this issue will not be in attendance, sorry for the mix-up]

Keep Louisville Literary: While in the Creative Writing MFA program at Purdue you served as the Assistant Director of Creative Writing. Since some readers may not know Purdue for its English dept. (although the Sycamore Review and Online Writing Lab are well known among students and writers), could you relay both a bit about the program and specifically your experiences as both a student and as Assistant Director?

Jessica Farquhar: Actually, Purdue is known internationally for its English Department. Teaching essay writing to engineering students and hanging out in the Earth and Atmospheric Sciences library were bonuses to the MFA program (Marianne Boruch playing cassette tapes of bird songs in workshop is the obvious reason anyone would want to attend Purdue–or the opportunity to visit the cadaver lab where she composed these poems). My third year, I hung out with Mary Leader weekly, talking tarot cards and handless maidens. Like a midwife she guided that manuscript baby out of me. I also got to introduce (current U.S. Poet Laureate!) Natasha Trethewey when she read at Purdue. And interview Jean Valentine. The whole of the MFA experience was serendipitous and surreal. It was like a waking dream being there, among tens of thousands of sandhill cranes and amazing writers, my peers and the faculty. As assistant director, I was a representative of the program to the community, which means I got to experience it inside and out. It also means I could go on and on and on about what a great program Purdue’s MFA is. More of what I’ve said on the topic can be found here. Third-year fictioneer Natalie van Hoose describes the experience beautifully here.

KLL: What are you pursuing now that you are home, post MFA?

JF: Pursuing: my children, book publication, the next manuscript.

KLL: Your thesis collection completed at Purdue, Through a Tunnel You Are Leaving, was a finalist this year in Sarabande Books’s Linda Bruckheimer poetry contest. Since we may assume you will be reading from this collection Friday, could you tell us a little about your direction, intention, techniques or thematic for this collection?

JF: I used many different processes to write and revise the manuscript, and the third section (of four), which is the least likely to lend itself to an oral reading, includes the most process-oriented poem, “Institute Are To,” another example of a unique experience afforded me by Purdue. It’s a long mosaic poem made of pieces of language I borrowed from a book on Lithography and that also is inspired by the process of lithography, its duplicable and handmade qualities. Mary Leader challenged me to come up with a process that could produce ten different poems from the same source–an example of what she calls the proliferative mode. She also encouraged me to spend a lot of time and energy (and space!) ordering the poems in my manuscript. Through a Tunnel You Are Leaving starts in the darkest part of the tunnel, with the handless maiden in the middle of the woods in the dark, and the journey takes off from there.

KLL: Do you prefer to regiment your writing, sitting down and “clocking-in”, or do you prefer spontaneity? Could you briefly describe your process and the places where you write?

JF: I do like to have my dedicated space at home, but rarely a dedicated time. I have my iMac and a big work surface, also yoga mats and space to practice postures and meditation. A big benefit of the MFA for me was getting to really know my writing habits and tweaking my space. I write best in the morning, if I’m going to sit down and spend some time at the computer. But I really never know when inspiration is going to hit, and the discipline for me is putting pen to paper when it does.

KLL: In conclusion, a generic favorite: whose books are currently fueling your creative fire? If this question doesn’t apply, suggest to us some compelling work you are familiar with.

JF: Mary Ruefle’s essays collected in Madness, Rack, and Honey have been fueling my creative fire for a few months now. Anything by Rachel Zucker is a go-to for me, and I’m dying to get my hands on Mary Jo Bang’s translation of Dante’s Inferno. I’ve been haunted in the best way by Nick Flynn’s memoir The Ticking is the Bomb, which I listened to over many drives between Lafayette and Louisville. I have to go now. Mitch Daniels (current Purdue President!) is on Stephen Colbert.

Jessica Farquhar holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Purdue where she was the assistant director of Creative Writing. She is a Louisville native, and current resident. Her poems have appeared in Catch Up, Word Hotel, ABZ, Transom, New Madrid, Poetry East, and Lumberyard; reviews and interviews in Sycamore Review.

Poet Sean Patrick Hill Invites Us Into His Introspection

Freelance writer, teacher at Indiana University Southeast, father and poet Sean Patrick Hill will take some time out of his busy schedule to share work from his collections of poetry Interstitial (BlazeVOX, 2011) and The Imagined Field (Paper Kite Press, 2010) as well as some forthcoming work at Speak Social Oct. 19th, 7pm (@ Java Bardstown, 1707 Bardstown Rd. Lou, KY 40205) with fellow poet Lynnell Edwards. Keep Louisville Literary sat down with Hill to discuss his poetic:

Keep Louisville Literary:    Highways surface as a recurring theme in your work, often juxtaposed with flight. Either could be said to hold connotations of freedom, or the transformation of journeys. What significance do these two forms of travel hold for you/why are they prevalent in your poems?

Sean Patrick Hill:    When I was young, it might have been true that “highways” represented freedom, but I don’t think they do anymore. To me, highways, interstates, roads in general are oppressive. Looking back over “White River Junction,” which is the long poem that ends The Imagined Field, I can see that it’s not about freedom, though it is about searching. In the case of that poem, which I wrote while driving around Vermont, it’s about looking for a job—with all the attendant philosophy the poem contains, of course: What do I do with this life? How does one live in the midst of such disparities?

The highway motif in my newer poems is equally negative. For example, the poem “Rimbaud at 40” doesn’t discuss highways at length, but it was written entirely while driving the long run to my teaching job in Elizabethtown, a two-hour commute. It’s a nasty rant I’m quite fond of. Whereas “Tannin” clearly identifies the highway with images of death, and in “Utah” the highway is equally ominous, a kind of failed searching. “Crossing Idaho,” another favorite, imagines a highway through the void itself.

I guess poems like this come from a lifetime of driving. Maybe it’s just disappointment: when I was young, I had the freedom to go, and so the “traveling” in my life was exciting, new and fresh. Now I just drive to work, to the store, and so on. But as a poet, that’s what I’m interested in now: the inability to escape the drudgery. I drive all the time but get nowhere, it seems.

KLL:   In some of your poems, such as “Tannin”, the effect of time on your own life becomes the untamed mystery of other natural forces through one or more extended metaphors. Tell us a bit about your process when writing these meditative poems.

SH:    “Tannin” was written in the fall of 2010 while under the influence of Jack Spicer, who I had only just begun to read. Spicer opened up in me a certain freedom, of language for one thing. In his lectures, he talks avidly about a poem being a “dictation,” something I’d always believed anyhow, only now I can borrow some of his terminology. I have a bad tendency to get stilted in writing, to try too hard, especially when it comes to the “lyric poem.” It’s a real nightmare. Still, as a former teacher told our class, 99% of what we write is shit. But we keep writing for that 1%.

I had also been reading a lot of Virginia Woolf: Mrs. Dalloway, To the Lighthouse, The Waves. She’s the master of interior monologue, far more so to me than, say, James Joyce. Her style resonates in me. She has a sensitivity not only to language, but also to the depths of our emotional life. What she gifted me was a way to understand my own interior landscapes and to get them in words, in sentences really. I read recently, in an essay by Isaiah Berlin, that Virginia Woolf adamantly believed that “History” lies not in the doings of great historical figures but in the emotional life of ordinary people. That’s wonderful.

So to put these two influences together—and of course there were countless other influences at play—allowed me to just trust myself and let go. Now it didn’t hurt that, for a time, I was getting up very early, before the baby was awake, in order to write. Sometimes I’d be fresh from a dream, but in most cases I was just more open, and the internal critic wasn’t yet awake.  So with “Tannin,” and other poems, I just started writing, and the poem became a kind of happening. I looked out the window, saw the geese, and off I went.

Spicer believes the poem comes from outside, that it’s a message meant for us, the poets. The message comes filtered through a sort of cloud of language. The poem comes spontaneously, without our interference. To interfere with the transmission, to impose form or structure or idea or sensibility, is to kill the poem. He was against revision, though I know he revised to some extent. “Tannin” was a spontaneous gesture, not a constricted poem. It was received. It was also a gift. When I asked poet Kyle Thompson what he thought the secret was to getting a poem down, he just said it was intuitive, and he literally decreed it a Jedi mind thing. I went with that, and “Tannin” is hardly revised at all.

So I like what Szymborska said about poetry in her Nobel address; in regards to what poetry is, she simply said “I don’t know.” But you have to trust this “I don’t know,” what the French call the je ne sais quoi. Heidegger talks about poetry as a form of “unveiling,” a getting at the essence of a thing—how it happens is a mystery.

KLL:    Some of your presumably recent poems teem with images of wilderness. Can you tell us what draws your mind to memories of the American West, and alternatively, to the Kentucky wilderness?

SH:    A lot of my poems deal with the wilderness, and have for a long time. That comes from fourteen years of reading Gary Snyder and living in Oregon. It also comes from my inordinate love of American Transcendentalism—Emerson, Thoreau, all that.

At first I just wrote a lot of landscape poems. This interested me because, living in Oregon but having grown up in New York, I had no idea where I was. Different birds, different trees, different landscape, and hence a different culture that grew up out of that. I had to find a way for that culture to grow up in me, so I used my poetry to achieve that. The American West is a landscape that fits me, and Kentucky has never really achieved that passion for me. I don’t know why, though certainly it’s the fact of a flat Ohio Valley far away from any meaningful mountains. I’m used to living with peaks of at least 10,000 feet in view of my town, if not from my apartment window.

It’s challenging for me to write about Kentucky. Maybe it’s because my life has been difficult here, which takes me back to that highway motif. In Kentucky I write a lot more about urban landscapes, or even suburban. My poems contain garbage cans, rats, weeds, and especially clouds—I’m fascinated by the geography of clouds. Probably, I just want to escape into them. The struggle here has been one of trying to identify with this place. You know, I’ve only lived here three years. I was in Oregon nearly a decade-and-a-half.

So what I’ve been doing recently is working on two long poems. One I call “The Oregon Poem.” That poem is a way for me to cement that part of myself, maybe construct an interior world I can find comfort in. Maybe I just like to think about Oregon, but I suspect it’s more a case of me exploring the part of my identity that I associate with that place. Because I’m a romantic by nature, and I mean this in the sense of German and English romanticism, not to mention my long apprenticeship in American nature writing, I identify with the landscape I live in, or at least feel I belong to.

So to feel more at home, or to understand where I am, I also began writing “The Kentucky Poem.” It’s kind of thrilling, really. I find the poems are coming out spookier.

KLL:    In contrast, your works in Exquisite Corpse, Spork, and DIAGRAM seem more personal, the “I” often seeming to refer to yourself as opposed to any character. These poems are spiritual, perhaps existential and sometimes border on the metaphysical.  Tell us a bit about when and why you focus on philosophical problems.

SH:    Really, I am highly suspect of “spirituality” anymore, and I certainly do not trust the “metaphysical.” Now I loved all that when I was young, reading The Tibetan Book of the Dead and things of that nature, but I find that my more mature work has been concerned with trying to undermine those beliefs. To me, spirituality is like reading your horoscope. I don’t want to write poems like that.

The “I,” too, I’m learning to trust less and less. A lot of that comes of reading general readership books on neuroscience, which I find fascinating, and to which I can connect a lot of philosophy I’ve found meaningful, especially Lucretius or Marcus Aurelius.

Eliot talks about the “extinction of personality,” and I’m coming to understand that. To write a poem like “Tannin,” I have to let go of myself, the self that wants to control things, the self that wants answers. The metaphysical might creep in, but I’m trying to kick that habit cold. Still, some of the main things I have to work with as a poet is simply my own subjectivity and experience. I’m unfortunately self-absorbed and vain, too. So I try to subvert that by not being “confessional” anymore. Not being “self-expressive.”

Stream of consciousness is something I’ve found liberating, and that is a way to escape the personality, but of course even Jack Spicer would say that you can’t escape it totally. You have a mind, and that mind has what he called “furniture” for the creative force to arrange into art. His prescription is to read and read and read, and I certainly do that. You can write lots of poems free flowing off the top of your head but, to me, if there’s no concern, the poem becomes nonsensical, or threatens to. I think Stein’s Tender Buttons drives a lot of people nuts. It sounds great—though not as great as Stanzas in Meditation—but as an early review pointed out, there’s no deep ideas informing it. That’s not entirely true, of course, in that Stein was intensely interested in the power of language, but it does get old after a while.  I understand some people love that, but to paraphrase Sam Hamill, poetry is a mansion with many rooms, but I don’t feel the need to inhabit them all.

I read a lot of philosophy, and I want to absorb that so that my poems contain ideas, and big ones I hope. I struggle with what has come to be called “the history of ideas.” You should, as a poet, have a philosophical grounding. I think it was Stevens said that poetry is the philosopher’s art. Look at Gary Snyder: even when he’s being simple, his poems are weighted with the great concerns of humanity: family, justice, history, ecology, and so on. It’s not the meaning of life that interests me anymore, but HOW to live. I’m no longer concerned with metaphysical junk. Once you absorb the philosophy, you can write in a stream; your philosophical sense comes out in the poem—at least, that’s the furniture in my attic.

KLL:    These loftier poems also make reference to European and western histories and cultures, relating a distant past to immediate/eternal images of nature. Could you elaborate on your poetic intentions regarding these allusions?

SH:    Snyder, Eliot, and Pound all collage history to some degree. To me, Snyder does it best, or at least in a way that speaks to me: he links Chinese poetry, European history, and mythology to show that life is always life, that no matter the time, we are all humans with the same emotions, the same ambitions, capable of making the same mistakes. Which we do. This is what Nietzsche means by the “eternal recurrence.” It’s just the same shit over and over, regardless of empire or epoch. Nature is, I hope, always the eternal stage. Maybe that’s not ultimately true, for we know nature is mutable, but it has a solidity, too. It’s even dependable to a degree.

There is, too, the idea that your consciousness is a collage anyway, a patchwork; our understanding of the universe is necessarily a patchwork. We can’t grasp it all, but we can piece it together into some sort of meaning, something to keep us warm, the candle in the dark. If I make allusions to history I’m surely echoing the Modernists, and those allusions are there to show that there are constants in our human condition.

KLL:    In poems like “When This Freight Train Burns”, the reader is invited to glimpse the certainties of mortal existence between lines which contradict the certainties of nature. Do you feel that what is unstated, each reader’s own mortal fears and existential dilemmas, is evoked by your work? Or do you feel that this implied gravitas is focused on the images and immediate meanings?

SH:    I’m really just looking at my own existential condition. I’d like to think that there are similarities in our dilemmas, and there are, but I also doubt that. It’s a struggle to come to any convincing stand here. On the one hand, I contradict myself by saying I think we’re all human, and thus we have the same emotions, fears, etc. but we still have our own private experience. It’s taken me forty years to realize what Keats’ negative capability is about. There is no secret to life, much as it pains me to say. You have to hold the opposing nature of the world in mind, and in heart, without going insane—this is the bottom line of Keats’ philosophy of life, or maybe just his vision of Shakespeare’s genius. You can’t change the world. You can hardly change yourself! The new science says we’re hardwired, that we are destined for the life we lead not through karma, though there’s that, too, but simply through the notion of determinism.

So what does that have to do with my poetry? Well, that’s my “furniture.” These are the ideas that my own creative mind has to work with. You can only accept life for what it is. I’m trying to find personal wisdom, trying to “know thyself” and know that it’s impossible to do so. There’s the two opposing forces one must reconcile, and to me, the purpose of poetry, at least mine, is to seek that reconciliation, and at least to offer it to myself, if not a reader, to achieve a balance.

Additional biographic info from Sean’s blog: “Sean Patrick Hill is a recipient of an Al Smith Individual Artist Fellowship from the Kentucky Arts Council. A freelance writer, poet, teacher and father living in Louisville, Kentucky, he is also a graduate student in the Warren Wilson College MFA Program for Writers, studying poetry.”