Month: November 2015

Hey, Why’d You Do That, Christopher Citro?

Writers are asked many general questions about their craft.

…”What is your overarching philosophy regarding the inherent power of fiction?”…”What IS–character–to you?”…”What is the position of place in your work?”…

These are great and important questions, but I’m really curious about the little things.  In the “Hey, Why’d You Do That” series, I ask accomplished writers about some of the very small choices they made during the process of composition.

Christopher Citro is one of those writers whose names seem so familiar because you keep seeing it in all of your favorite lit mags.  His work has appeared in a ton of places, including The Journal, Ploughshares, Redivider and a number of other journals you wish would accept your own work.  His first book of poetry, The Maintenance of the Shimmy-Shammy, was published by Steel Toe Books.  Why not order a copy directly from the publisher?  You can also find the book at Barnes & Noble and Amazon.

Shimmy-Shammy

Yes, you may wish to read 10,000 words in which Mr. Citro elucidates his overall philosophy of poetry.  Instead, I am curious about the tiny choices that Mr. Citro wrestles with every time he sits down to put pen to paper.  I read and enjoyed “Nerve Endings Like Strawberry Runners,” a poem that Mr. Citro placed in Witness.  Why not follow along with the poem and reflect upon the nitty-gritty of his writing process in order to improve your own work? Continue Reading

Hey, Why’d You Do That, Deborah Guzzi?

Writers are asked many general questions about their craft.

…”What is your overarching philosophy regarding the inherent power of fiction?”…”What IS–character–to you?”…”What is the position of place in your work?”…

These are great and important questions, but I’m really curious about the little things.  In the “Hey, Why’d You Do That” series, I ask accomplished writers about some of the very small choices they made during the process of composition.

Deborah Guzzi is a Connecticuter whose poetry has been published in markets all over the world.  Some of that work appears in 2015’s The Hurricane, a collection published by Prolific Press.  Please consider purchasing the book directly from them, but you can also get the book from Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

You can (and should!) learn more about Ms. Guzzi through her Twitter feed and her YouTube page.

Ms. Guzzi was kind enough to suggest we discuss her poem, “The Sowing.”  The poem is available here for free.  I was touched by how much she clearly loves her poem and feels that the piece is doing good with respect to domestic violence and rape: issues that are near and dear to the hearts of many of us.  As my Ohio State MFA colleague Laurel Gilbert is also greatly interested in these problems, I thought it would be interesting to see what she would ask Ms. Guzzi about her poem.  (I was right.) Continue Reading