Richard's Reviews > How to Make a Life as a Poet

How to Make a Life as a Poet by Gary Mex Glazner
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's review
Jun 25, 2007

Read in March, 2006

This book includes numerous interviews with poets on how they bring poetry into their lives, including Judith Tannenbaum’s work with prisoners and how she published her wonderful memoir on the experiences, entitled Disguised as a Poem: My Years Teaching Poetry at San Quentin. Marc Smith, inventor of the poetry slam, speaks about the early days of slam, using music with poetry, and his innovative project with the City of Chicago, that- among other things- put poems in one hundred thousand pizza boxes. We talk with Kim Addonizio on how she runs her poetry workshops and how she incorporates her love of blues and passion for playing the harmonica into her readings. Patricia Smith tells us how poetry saved her life. Eleni Sikelianos tells us why there better be sex in heaven. Hettie Jones talks about Beat poetry and all the jobs she’s had to keep her family together. Attlia the Stockbroker rants on being a punk poet, perhaps the original punk poet and making his living as a poet for over two decades. Michele Tea dishes on touring with two vans chock full of “Sister Spitters.” Liz Belile gets us hot with her fearless, feminist porn. Tom Mayo talks about using poetry to remind medical and law students of their humanity. Dayvid Figler talks about being a poet and a judge. Beth Lisick talks about being a spoken word artist opening for Neal Young and how everyone kept asking, “Where is your guitar?” Quincy Troupe tells us how to put together a book of poems. Taylor Mali talks about touring and getting close to having a television show. Abraham Smith talks about getting paid to study poetry. Craig Arnold gives his take on what’s good and bad about the poetry slam and some great tips on touring. John Tritica and Bruce Holsapple inteview Larry Goodel about studying with Robert Creeley, among other things..
Glazner also talks to Beth Lisick and Bob Holman’s mothers on giving birth to bards. He confesses to being hit in the head with a rock by an angry poetry student. He reveals his secret identity as PoetMan, some of the techniques he uses in working with young children with poetry and how PoetMan is faster than a speeding simile, able to leap tall metaphors with a single bound, and more powerful than a speeding locomotive full of steaming hyperbole.
In addition the the inpirsing interviews, Glazner provides his usual array of practical tips and insights: examples on writing query letters for sponsorships; how to coach your own Precision Poetry Drill Team; and a section on insurance plans for writers.

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