Light Magazine, the laughable and venerable venue for light verse, has just published my poem, "Laundry and James Tate." Click the picture (or here) to learn of my cleansing coincidences with a cabal of New English Masons.
I received word that Light would publish this poem on July 9th. I have just now learned that Tate died on July 8th. The work of few writers could be more different from my own than was Tate's. And yet, it was Tate who kindly mentored me when I first began writing poems. He was not a sympathetic audience, but was at once an encouraging, thoughtful, and serious one. For decades, aspirant avant-garde "surrealists" came to Amherst to study with him; he saw me for what I was -- not among them, and a reactionary of sorts -- and I think that is what made us something like friends for the short time we knew each other. He was a talented and often hilarious writer, whose "Bounden Duty" once caused me to fall down with laughter. I am sorry to hear of his passing and realize now how clearly this poem expresses the tenor of our relationship. Requiescat in pace.
News and Events
Check here for the latest news regarding public lectures, readings, and print and online publications.
You can follow this page on Twitter @JMWSPT (or click here).