My poems can be found in my book Familiar History, currently available from Finishing Line Press.Order It Here
They can be found in print in Sugar House Review:
Er, This Ain’t No Robert Frost
If you’re unfamiliar with the writing of poets who are currently alive and kicking, contemporary poetry might come as a bit of a shock. Poets today largely eschew the rhyming poetry many of us learn about in school for a style called free verse. Free verse typically doesn’t rhyme and though it often contains a certain musicality, it tends to stay away from set rhythms like iambic pentameter (the meter popularized by William Shakespeare).
Central Themes: ‘Struggle and Failure and Broken Lives’
Many times our teachers and mentors see our work better than we can ourselves. When asked to provide a blurb for my first book, Familiar History, Corrinne Cleggs Hales, my mentor and poetry teacher from my M.F.A. program, said the book: “expertly de-romanticizes the landscape and mythology of the American west, revealing a world defined largely by struggle and failure and broken lives.”
I think this accurately describes my work much better than I ever could. The world represented in my poetry is a dark one. I was raised in an impoverished, rural area of Northern Nevada and the struggles of a difficult, isolated childhood have colored much of how I see the American West. Like many from this region, I grew up watching superhuman characters brought to life by Clint Eastwood and John Wayne who could take on the entire world without ever shedding a single drop of blood.
This was not the reality of the small farming town of Fallon, NV I was born in. There, people did shed blood, often in the vain hope of achieving an American Dream that had seemed to skip over their entire region and everyone they held dear.