Saturday, May 31, 2008

Al Green is Back

If you haven't heard it yet. Please, please, please go check out Al Green's new album "Lay It Down." It was produced by Ahmir Thompson, who you might know better as ?uestlove from the Roots. It's the old lovesick Reverend, with features from familiar voices like Corrine Bailey-Rae as well as the new generation of soul singers: Anthony Hamilton and John Legend. Regardless, it's an instant candlelight classic for me.

Now back to the shameless self-promotion, a poem of mine will be up in the new issue of storySouth, set to debut either tomorrow or sometime soon after. It's an oldie, from my junior year in undergrad, though looking back on it I can't find too much to hate (which is quite an anomaly for my old poems). Either way, I'm a huge fan of the magazine. They've featured so many of my former and current professors (from Kevin Boyle and Drew Perry to Cathy Hankla and Thorpe Moeckel), so I'm honored just to be included. Also, I've got three poems up at GHOTI magazine, a great web-zine edited by some past Hollins MFA-ers.

So I've started a new project, something which I'm excited about and gives me an outlet for these summer months, a chapbook entitled "Doc Watson's Greatest Hits." I've taken the titles of some 30 Doc Watson songs and simply seen what poems result. It's an interesting experiment, starting with a title before having written the poem. Contrary to what I expected, it's been liberating as it simultaneously dictates a starting point and allows me to toy with the expectations created by a title. It's also nice to take a break from the bigger project, the thesis, which is so centered in the first person narrative and personal experience that sometimes it's a bit daunting to immerse myself in for too long.

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