Writing: Poetry



The Boys I Borrow

The Boys I Borrow

Originally, I titled it Nintendo Wedding but the publisher didn't think that was legal. I still think of the book as Nintendo Wedding.

I love poems that are clear, direct, generous, and personal. I like to feel like I'm in someone's house, poking around unsupervised. My influences or inspirations for writing came from Sharon Olds, Naomi Nye, Marie Howe, Beth Bachmann, photographer Sally Mann, memoirist and musician Amy Fusselman, Abigail Thomas, the state of Florida, Harvest Moon, and Animal Crossing.

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Drinking Girls and Their Dresses

Drinking Girls and Their Dresses

Now I write poems to be read aloud but these are page poems. Interior, twisty, bad puns, surreal imagery—James Tate meets the Florida WPA guide. For the cover art, I chose a terrific British artist who works in pencil, Laurie Lipton. I learned about her from an essay Janet Burroway published in New Letters.

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Your Whole Life

Your Whole Life

My first publication, a chapbook of poems, is about losing Florida and a teacher. I had written, in graduate school, a lot of poems about growing up in Florida. Then, my beloved teacher, Jerry Stern, discovered cancer had returned. I had just moved to Texas and accepted a position as an assistant professor of creative writing at a university there and all I could think about in that striking hot desert was loss: my teacher, my lush home state, childhood itself.