The Artist’s Vocation: Finding Beauty in the Hard Places

Finding Beauty in Hard Places

Recently, my Russian tutor had me read this snippet from Russian Modernist poet Nikolay Zabolotsky: … что есть красота и почему её обожествляют люди? Сосуд она, в котором пустота, или огонь, мерцающий в сосуде? Or, loosely translated: … what is beauty and why do we worship it? Is it a vessel for emptiness, or a fire in a vessel, … Read more…

How to Read Poetry (A Guide Sure to Disappoint)

Thanks to the WD Poetry Awards and the November PAD Chapbook Challenge, I’ve been writing a lot more poetry lately. And I’m rediscovering how much I’ve always loved it. I cannot explain poetry. That’s partially why I gave it up in the first place — I could never figure out how one could tell whether … Read more…

The Artist’s Vocation: “That Our Joy May Be Complete”

I’ve been feeling guilty about the supposed non-usefulness of the artistic and intellectual gifts I’ve been given. Teaching makes sense to me — it’s clearly a service and a sacrifice. But writing, reading, and contemplation are hard for me to justify, possibly because I love them so much. Does society really need another writer, another … Read more…