My first book,
Techne’s Clearinghouse (Zoo Press), sold out its original print run of 1,000 copies, and I’m now seeking a publisher for my second book, Night Vision.
Generally, I’d say my poetry mulls over the “grit and chime” of a suboptimal world. In this new collection, there are wars in the Middle East, my mother dies and the creatures of the field are “much the worse / for having been beneath the rotor blades.” The poems are by turns contemplative and savage, and they take account of what gets lost. If they offer any solace, it’s in a plainspoken, dark humor. Sometimes you have to wonder at reruns of The Partridge Family: “My problem was I actually believed / the Partridge Family played their instruments. / Do you remember David Cassidy? / He looked like he had eaten Vaseline.”
My work relies on meter and often on rhyme, but the poems don’t sound like academic exercises. I do a lot of public readings because I believe that poems have to live as spoken language and do their job in a room full of people. The readings go well because my work seems to have an emotional immediacy that people respond to. I’m at home on the page and on the stage.
My poetry has been featured in the Swallow Anthology of New American Poets and has appeared widely in magazines, including The New Yorker, Poetry, The New Criterion, Parnassus, The Raintown Review, American Arts Quarterly, Cimarron Review, Barrow Street and the Alabama Literary Review (forthcoming). My work has also appeared on line at Poetry Daily, Kin, linebreak, The Nervous Breakdown, YARN and other sites.
An MFA? Yes, I have one, from Columbia. I’ve taught writing at Harvard Business School, Columbia and Barnard. My essays and reviews have appeared in Parnassus, Contemporary Poetry Review, Kin, The New Criterion (forthcoming), The Dark Horse (forthcoming) and other venues.
Paris was my home for many years, and I’ve spent much time in Brazil, but now I’m based in New York, where I was born. I live in Manhattan with my Brazilian wife, the painter Majô L. Foy (www.mjlanarifoy.com), and our two children, Catherine and Chris.