Guardian Interview

My interview about How to Read Poetry Like a Professor with Jake Nevins of The Guardian U.S. came out today. What a great birthday present! He does a great job of asking a solid setup question and then letting his subject blather, which is one of my specialties: 

Upcoming Events

I’ll be reading from and talking about How to Read Poetry Like a Professor at two events in April:

Thursday, April 12 at 7:00 p.m. at Schuler Books in the Meridian Mall in Okemos, Michigan

Tuesday, April 24 at 7:00 p.m. at Nicola’s Books in the Westgate Shopping Center in Ann Arbor, Michigan

Schuler Books Okemos                       Nicola's Books

A Postmodern Master

March 31 is the birthday of the late John Fowles (1926). Don’t blame him, but The French Lieutenant’s Woman changed my life. I’d never seen a book make use of the past, of tropes and types from the Victorian novel (in this case) in the service of something highly non-Victorian. The novel was still pretty new (six or seven years old), and even Nabokov hadn’t quite prepared me for this, and I knew I had to find out more about this heady business.

John_Fowles                                    French Lieutenant's Woman

Pub Day

Poetry coverThe new book hits shelves today. It’s available at better bookstores everywhere. Wondering if your bookstore is better? Ask if they have the book; then you’ll know.


Box O’Books

The happiest day in the writer’s calendar? Easy. The one with a large box of books. My work here is done. I was so happy I didn’t even tell the UPS man he needs a muffler. Think he knows?

Poetry Box (1)


[This is one of my Pensées, occasional observations chiefly on nature and perhaps our place in it. The title is lifted from Blaise Pascal, who did this sort of thing so much better. But he’s not here, and I am, so there you go.]


Creamy white on snow,
they vanish as they lift off
from field edges
like ghosts of themselves.
Shy visitors from the Far
North, settling down by ditches
only to flee
passing vehicles
in parabolic waves, their meals of
weed seeds disturbed by
mechanical giants unknown
on their breeding grounds.
One doesn’t so much see them as intuit
their departures and rearrivals,
catching rumors peripherally.