Stephen Dobyns Was His Own Toughest Critic

“The poems I read were wonderfully graceful poems and then I wrote something that looked absolutely like dogshit and the impulse was to stop entirely, and sometimes I would, but then I’d come back to it.”

Robert Bly’s Poetry Was Nearly Ruined by A College Education

Bly’s career effectively began while in college at Harvard, but his time at the university also made it more difficult for him to embrace a “common language” which he believed made poetry more moving to the average reader.

Paul Muldoon: Man of Low Expectations

Paul Muldoon is not only one of the most prominent poets writing today, but he is also among the few who may truly be considered a celebrity. Muldoon speaks with us about his first poem, what happened after he met Seamus Heaney and why poets should always keep their expectations low.

Christian Barter: The Working Man’s Poet

In the nearly 30 years since Christian Barter first started to write poetry, he has only managed to publish one book of poems. That effort was well received, but Barter still must make his living far away from academia, working on a trail crew in Maine. So what is it that keeps him writing?

Did Robert Frost Choose the Wrong Road?

Robert Frost should have been a failed writer. He never graduated college, and spent the first half of his life writing in total obscurity.

Poet or Pimp? Shakespeare’s Career Starts With a Bang

The most revered playwright in history first picked up the pen because of an affair. The result is a classic trashy poem.

The Toughest Critic for Pablo Neruda was Family

Neruda wrote his first serious poem when he was just nine years old. Yet, according to his memoirs, Neruda’s father tried to undermine his passion from the start.