2008 Roundup

There are many ways to look back upon a year. I have decided to select a single post from each month of 2008 that in some way reflects my preoccupations at the time.

January: The Second Year

Looking back on the second year since the birth and death of our son, as even now we are approaching the third anniversary.

February: Seamus Heaney on Dante, Eliot, and Mandelstam

Some observations on poetic lineage and terza rima form, which influenced The Silence Teacher. This excerpt later became a part of the essay portion of my MFA creative thesis.

March: Post-Postmodernism and Hope

Reflections on postmodernism in the twentieth century, and the need for hope.

April: The Foolishness of Poetry

April 1st is “April Fools’ Day.” April 1st is the start of National Poetry Month. Coincidence? I think not.

May: Worst Poet Ever

Some thoughts on William McGonagal, one of history’s so-called “worst poets,” and the importance of being “bad” in the creative process.

June: America’s Hunger: an Open Letter to Krystian Zimerman

A response to renowned classical pianist Krystian Zimmerman’s boycott of the USA, including a humbling and edifying exchange in the comments section with a remarkable Serbian musician.

July: What Marriage Means to Me

Thoughts on love and marriage, months before the passage of Proposition 8 in California.

August: The Shed

Reflections on a significant moment in my process of grief recovery–cleaning out the shed full of baby things.

September: Modern Love

Here are my reactions to a beautifully well-written piece on losing a child.

October: Manuscript Anxiety

Completing my MFA creative thesis brought about its own kind of anxiety–the kind brought on by creativity-killing comparisons between new and compiled work.

November: Poetry and the Economy

Here are some thoughts on the need for poetry in a “down” economy–still relevant, it seems.

December: Poetry as Defiance

In preparing for my graduate reading, I began thinking about the process of writing, and the importance of defying the sense that one is ever “done.”

And, on that note, here’s to more writing and thinking and learning and loving and hoping in 2009.