Wayne Gilbert: “Read poetry, dammit.”

Having taught at the Community College of Aurora [CO] for twenty-five years, professor and poet Wayne Gilbert has seen and done some things. He’s played Walt Whitman in Denver. He’s read with a five-piece jazz band. His life experience has grown rich enough for the local newspaper to write a profile on him. Go ahead and read that. Appreciate that we all have unique paths to take in our creative development.

But the rest of his advice to aspiring poets is “Go down to the [bookstore] and buy some poets. Read them. Everybody wants to be a poet, nobody wants to read poetry. That’s number one.” So listen to the man. After you finish reading the article, go ahead and track down some poetry on the interwebs or at the bookatoriums. Stand up and read some out loud. Sit down and dig into some that are too complicated to appreciate on one’s feet. Read yourself to sleep to the cadences of a master of rhythm. Go someplace new.

And on that note, we will take this same advice.

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About poetsguide

A former altar boy and a former U.S. Army interrogator, respectively, John F. Buckley and Martin Ott were born and raised in Michigan, meeting each other at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor before separately migrating to California in the early 1990s to attend graduate schools, their friendship evolving into a writing collaboration – what they refer to as poetic volleyball. They both currently live in Southern California, John with his wife, Martin with his wife and two children. John teaches English composition at several local colleges, while Martin works as a marketing strategist for a global company. John still affects a strange piety; Martin still finds himself asking a lot of questions. Individually and together, their writing has appeared in over 150 periodicals and anthologies, garnering three Pushcart Prize nominations for Martin’s poems “India Ivy” and “When Bridges Fall” (available in his collection Children of Interrogation, which has been a finalist or semi-finalist in eighteen poetry prizes) and John’s “Poem for Christy’s Daughter” (available in his collection Kinks in the Hose). Martin has also optioned three screenplays. His chapbook Misery Loves was published on Red Dancefloor Press. John’s chapbook Breach Birth was published on Propaganda Press.
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