17---> joe & tranströmer


Name: Joe Ross

Current City: Paris 

Previous Places: PA, D.C., CA

Occupation: That would be nice.  In the mean time: writing, coaching, teaching, being present, and with those I meet.

Age:  Current

What does poetry mean to you?  

Poetry is a place of wander, wonder, connection, music, discovery, transmission, wisdom, fun, truth, experimentation, mystery, renewal, beauty, hope, essence, and sometimes something to dance to.

Favorite Poet:  

The one I’m reading.  Currently, Tomas Tranströmer.

Why do you like this poet/poem?  

Friendship, attention, being,  use of  metaphor, image, music, honesty, truth, humanity, and connection.

A poem from Tranströmer:


On the subway platform.

A crowd among billboards

in a staring dead light.

The train comes and fetches

faces and briefcases.

Darkness next. We sit

like statues in the cars

hauled into the tunnels.

Strain, dreams, strain.

At stations below sea level

the news of darkness is sold.

People moving melancholy,

mum, beneath clockfaces.

The train carries a load

of street clothes and souls.

Looks in all directions,

passing through the mountain.

Nothing changing yet.

But near the surface begins

the hum of freedom’s bees.

We emerge from the earth.

The countryside flaps its wings

once, and then subsides

under us, wide and greenish.

Shucks of corn blow in

across the platforms.

End of the line! I ride

beyond the end of the line.

How many aboard? Four,

five, hardly more.

Houses, roads, skies,

fjords, mountains

have opened their windows.

10---> erik & enoch


Name: Erik Wennermark

Hometown: suburban Washington D.C.

Current City: Hong Kong

Occupation: Teacher/Writer

Age: 37

What does poetry mean to you?

I am a bit of a neophyte when it comes to poetry; I’ve certainly read a fair bit, and I’ve often hung out with poets. I’ve even been in poetry workshops, but I’ve always been a prosaic dude at heart. Maybe that’s why the poems I tend to like are prose-y like Carolyn Forché’s “The Colonel” or just weird exercises like Joe Wenderoth’s Letters to Wendy’s. In my current job though, I find myself reading poetry everyday – much of which is canon (Keats, Wordsworth, etc). This has happened at other times in my life (I went on a long Whitman tear) – and whenever I read poetry everyday I come to appreciate it so much more as it offers challenges and concerns I just don’t get from prose. It’s the rare paragraph, maybe Melville, that I can read ten times and find something new each time, but even what’s ultimately a pretty goofy poem, Keats’s “When I have Fears That I May Cease to Be,” for example, continually rewards careful reading. Some other poems I have enjoyed lately are Philip Larkin’s “The Building” and Anna Akhmatova’s “You Will Hear Thunder.” I’m also a sucker for reading odd fiction about poets (below), most Roberto Bolaño wrote.

Favorite Poet/Poem

Enoch Soames

Why do you like this poet/poem?

His absolute devotion to the craft come hell or high-water – in a most literal sense.