On trying to teach students not to use clichés

With experience as a writer comes certainty about clichés (and their exceptions). Don’t use ’em exclamation point period. These worn-out formulas add nothing to the writing. Setting aside characters like Hamlet’s Polonius who spout clichés as a way of demonstrating that very fact. Yet I have students in upper level creative writing classes who willContinue reading “On trying to teach students not to use clichés”

Virtual Band Performance: John Prine’s “Angel from Montgomery”

Greetings, everyone. I’m excited to have a new remix uploaded today. Here’s a virtual performance of John Prine’s “Angel from Montgomery” with the addition of a new cello track. The trio features me on acoustic guitar/vocals, Andy Mosholder on cello, and Aaron Lambert on cahon/percussion. Andy, of Harper’s Ferry, VA, arranged the cello part. I’mContinue reading “Virtual Band Performance: John Prine’s “Angel from Montgomery””

Listen to an amazing poem by Gwendolyn Brooks

If you’re into poetry, then you’ll love this series celebrating the 110th Anniversary of the Poetry Society of America. Here’s Major Jackson reading a poem by Gwendolyn Brooks. Check out the series of readings here: poetrysociety.org/features/reading-through-the-decades. Enjoy the reading of a wonderful poem (I’m going to add it to my classes).

“Paper Wings” (Gillian Welch) Cover

Here’s a track I forgot I had. Recorded a couple of years ago at TNT Studios in Louisville. Personnel: The Bourbon Sidecars with: Michael Jackman (acoustic, acoustic lead, vocal), Erich Stem (fiddle), and Tim Haertel (upright bass). Added some photos of pre-pandemic music life because I miss it so much. By the way, all membersContinue reading ““Paper Wings” (Gillian Welch) Cover”

A little advice on poem titles

I think poets should avoid certain kinds of titles. Particularly one-word titles such as, for example, “Claustrophobia” or “Illness.” Now, not all one-word titles are a problem. I mean the kind that explain or broadcast the poem’s “theme” to the reader. By “theme” in this case I don’t mean literary theme, a general statement aboutContinue reading “A little advice on poem titles”

Post Carpal Tunnel Surgery: “Dead Flowers” Cover

My carpal tunnel release surgery has healed enough so I’m ready to start playing music again. So here’s a cover of the Rolling Stones’ “Dead Flowers.” It fit my mood after a long, draining day of virtual teaching college students, and didn’t strain the surgical scar with any hard bar chords or long stretches. HopeContinue reading “Post Carpal Tunnel Surgery: “Dead Flowers” Cover”

The North Meridian R. Picks up a set of three poems

So jazzed to announce that three of the poems from my Letters from Spickert Knob chapbook manuscript that I’ve been working on will be forthcoming in The North Meridian Review, a new interdisciplinary, open-source journal of culture and scholarship from Marion University. The poems are “Letter 2,” “Letter 3,” and “Letter 4.” Looking forward toContinue reading “The North Meridian R. Picks up a set of three poems”