Last night, I attended the launch of poet Jennifer Jean's new chapbook, In the War. It is a brave account of a daughter of a Vietnam vet, and how she and her brother survived a childhood of poverty and foster care. For Jennifer, this book is about healing, and last night she shined. This book is the first of many great moments for her as a poet and writer.
Will post pictures soon.
I just heard that the poet Ai passed away on Friday. She was a talented writer, known for her persona poems and dramatic monologues. In 2009, she was the recipient of a USA Ford Fellowship. Here's her bio. Rest in peace.
Yesterday, I received a question on Twitter that I needed more than 140 characters to answer.
What is the career path for a poet?
I can only answer from my point of view, but I think the opportunities are wide open. But poets have to define for themselves what it means to be successful.
There's been a lot of talk of careerism and poetry on different Web sites. I think you have to be persistent and talented to make a career in poetry, just as in any field. With the many different ways to publish and the opportunities there are read in front of audiences, you can carve out a niche for yourself. However, the talent has to be there; otherwise, no one reads the books or comes to the readings.
I'd like to see more poets making money from the work they put into their craft.