National Poetry Month: April 9

Hi friends!

I took a summer weekend workshop at the University of Iowa a few years ago. It was flash fiction, and I was the only guy among 12 writers. The instructor, Kyle Beachy, did a great job facilitating us through the strange genre that sits on the edge of all the big-named others. And because of the notorious setting, there was time on campus to fantasize about the writers paths who’d crossed through the Iowa Writer’s Workshop: John Irving, Michael Cunningham, Jayne Anne Phillips, John Cheever, James Tate, and so many literary lions. Iowa City is also home to Prairie Lights, a great bookstore, and Literary Walk Home.

It was there, cruising through Prairie Lights on a lunchbreak, that I discovered the writer Andrew Michael Roberts. He is a unique writer, and his poems in something has to happen next, grew out of his obsessions with time and catastrophe, love and abandonment- what is always possible, almost attained, but lost at the last minute. This felt very familiar.

Today I read his poem, “the moments before the crash landing are clearest”:

Robert Vaughan reads “the moments before the crash landing are clearest” byAndrew Michael Roberts – YouTube


When was the last time you crashed? The first? What did it feel like?

I have a poem in Microtones called “The Upswing of Falling.” It originally appeared at Metazen, and feels like it could be a sibling to Andrew’s poems. (The Lost Bookshelf Homepage

So, for writers, when do you use abstraction in your poems? Do you ever play with leaving the door open? The lights off? No sound idea of where you are headed?



About Robert Vaughan

Originally from NY, Robert leads week long National writing retreats at sites like Mabel Dodge Luhan House, Synergia Ranch, and EarthRise IONS. His poems and fiction are published in over 500 print and online magazines, such as Necessary Fiction, BlazeVOX, Los Angeles Weekly, Literary Orphans and Smokelong Quarterly. He is Editor-in-Chief at (b)OINK magazine and leads round- tables for Redoak Writing in Milwaukee. He is six times a Pushcart Prize Nominee and his fiction and poetry have won awards, including a Micro-Fiction runner-up (2012) and twice a finalist in the Gertrude Stein Fiction Award (2013-14). His books are: Microtones (Cervena Barva Press); Diptychs + Triptychs + Lipsticks + Dipshits (Deadly Chaps); Addicts & Basements (Civil Coping Mechanisms); RIFT, co-authored with Kathy Fish (Unknown Press), and FUNHOUSE (Unknown Press).
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2 Responses to National Poetry Month: April 9

  1. Roxane says:

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  2. Catherine says:

    I don’t write a ton of remarks, however after browsing a few of the remarks here National Poetry Month: April 9 | Robert Vaughan. I actually do have a couple of questions for you if you don’t mind.
    Is it just me or does it look as if like a few of the responses
    look like they are written by brain dead folks? 😛 And,
    if you are posting at other online sites, I’d like to keep up with you. Would you make a list of the complete urls of your social networking sites like your twitter feed, Facebook page or linkedin profile?

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