29---> danny & brautigan

Name: Danny Caporaletti

Hometown: Richmond, Virginia

Current City: Richmond, Virginia

Occupation: Film Professor, Filmmaker, Writer, Camera Assistant, MFA in Fiction from University of New Orleans


What does poetry mean to you?


Compelling poetry distorts as much as it clarifies, and it expands the boundaries of language. A great poem, to me, explores a central idea or feeling by rendering a moment “still” with words, syntax, and structure.


Favorite Poet/Poem:


Richard Brautigan’s “I Was Trying To Describe You To Someone.” This is a bit of cheat, since most consider this a short story, but it reads like a prose poem to me, existing somewhere between poetry and flash fiction.


Why do you like this poet/poem?


The piece is one big nostalgic wormhole. The language is playful (I love the line “I think I was seven or eight or six”), and the tone is conversational, yet precise. Brautigan likens electricity with romance to explore the difficulty of describing love to another person. The lights turn on and off, the same way love can turn on and off.


Runner-Up Favorite Poem: Charles Bukowski’s “Young In New Orleans” because it’s hilarious and dark and true. Too true.

22---> roy & bishop & soto





Name: Roy G. Guzmán

Hometown: Miami, FL (born in Tegucigalpa, Honduras)

Current city: Minneapolis, MN

Occupation: MFA candidate in creative writing at the University of Minnesota

Age: 30


What does poetry mean to you?

We relate to language quite differently, and that relationship is what gives poetry its urgency and tenderness. I often think of poetry through active verbs: to witness, to resist, to persist, to renounce, to relate, to embrace, to acknowledge, to activate, to excavate, to elevate. Some theorists claim that dancing is the quintessential form of human expression; in my view—and as a dancer myself—poetry is what lends human experience its roaring impetus.

Favorite poet:

Elizabeth Bishop’s work speaks to me on an aesthetic and queer level. Her poems are quietly intense, and when they’re not observing and digesting the outside world, they are emphasizing its beauty and vicissitudes.

Favorite poem:

One poem that’s become a kind of mantra and weapon of resistance for me is Gary Soto’s “Mexicans Begin Jogging.”

“Mexicans Begin Jogging” is heartbreaking, relevant to major discussions on immigration, citizenship, ethnicity, class, and power, and serves as a reminder of how poetry can function as a tool for social justice.