20---> erin & wright

Name: Erin Gendron
Hometown: Allegan, Michigan
Current City: Atlanta, GA
Occupation: Writer/educator
Age): post-modern

What does poetry mean to you?

Poetry is the connective tissue between experience and explanation. It is the stuff that holds the pieces together so that we can find and experience greater meaning.

Favorite Poet/Poem

I will always feel something when I read James Wright’s “A Blessing.”

Why do you like this poet/poem?

The smell of the air, the hum of the spring insects, the heat lifting from the horses; I experience all of these things, including the lightness in my chest that Wright alludes to at the end. This electric feeling that you get (if you’re very lucky) when you happen upon something that is truly good. Those moments can make you feel so alive and so filled with gratitude. As you can tell by my explanation, it’s a hard thing to describe, but somehow, Wright captures it perfectly.

15---> kelly & the three way tie


Name: Kelly Jones 

Hometown: Raleigh, NC 

Current Cities: Raleigh, NC, and New Orleans, LA

Occupation: Bartender/Editor/Educator/Event Organizer/Writer

Age: 30

What does poetry mean to you?

Poetry, at its best, is the thing that everyone’s wanted to say but couldn’t figure out how to. Its calculated expression and unbridled thought; poems question the world and attack it from another angle. They make us think and feel and wonder and dream and hope and cry and smile and remember. Sometimes it means rhyme, meter, form, structure, etc., but I prefer to appreciate poems more for their content than their presentation.  As someone who writes poems, poetry also means creation, frustration, and revision. It means treasuring a thing that, when you boil it down, is just words and white space.

Favorite Poet/Poem:  

I don’t have a favorite poet, but I’ve got a three way tie going for favorite poem. Please, read them. I promise that you might like them.

Dream Song 4″ by John Berryman

For Saundra” by Nikki Giovanni

Preface to a Twenty Volume Suicide Note” by Amiri Baraka  

Why do you like these poems?

“Dream Song 4” draws me in because of Mr. Bones and Henry’s conversation. The way they speak with each other and describe their world is captivating. And the way Berryman turns a phrase is so lovely and memorable.

“For Saundra” is hard and honest and questioning the world. It shows a smart woman who is tough and ready for revolution. When I first read that poem in middle or high school that was an unfamiliar character that I was excited to finally see.

“Preface…” is heart wrenching and I love it for that. It also does a damn good job of using an isolated line to make an impact.