Questions for the Poet

These questions come from Courtney in Jim Brock's LIT class at FGCU. Say hi to Courtney on her blog, Jack and Jill Media.

1. How did you come about writing poetry?
I started writing song lyrics when I was younger, but it wasn't until I took a creative writing course at Old Dominion University with poet Toi Derricotte that I started writing poetry. I remember listening to an audio recording of Allen Ginsberg's Howl and thinking, "You can say all of that in a poem?!"

2. Was it always a passion of yours?
When I was at ODU, I started out as a business major. Then I took an 8 a.m. ECON class ... not the best choice for me, but it lead me to creative writing. So, yes, poetry has been a passion of mine for most of my adult life.

3. Where the poems [in Underlife] written over along period of time or were they a more recent reflection?
There are a few poems that were written during my time in grad school at New York University, but have gone through several revisions since then. Certainly, the poems about marriage and kids were written in the last few years.

I wasn't turned onto poetry until just a few years back, and now it's a pretty big passion of mine. I hope to hear from you soon if you have a chance to respond ...

Thanks for your questions, Courtney. Good luck to you. Jim's a wonderful poet and a dedicated teacher.


If you have a question, ask me!


Claudia Diaz said…
I am also a student in Jim Brock's class. I really enjoyed your book. I'm glad our professor chose your book because we have a chance to speak to you through this blog. Do you write your poems out on paper first, or do you type them on the computer?

Also, I wish you a Happy Birthday!
Dana Jenkins said…
I am a student in Dr. Jim Brock's class as well. I was just wondering, have you ever written a poem and had it turn out perfectly without having to revise it -almost as if you went back to revise it the poem would lose some of the emotion or meaning you were feeling when you wrote it?
January said…
Thanks ladies. I'll respond to your thoughtful questions in a separate post.

And thanks, Claudia, for the birthday wishes.
Poet Mom, have you found that your subject matters have changed/evolved into more introverted topic's since you had your children? I am also in Jim Brock's class. I have found that i as grow and change jobs so does the subject of my pro's. But i can not imagine the shift in view point as of having children.

Stuart P Shannon
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