Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Why Tony Barnstone Rules

I first met Tony at the West Chester poetry conference, and was struck by what a friendly and knowledgeable guy he was. Reading Sad Jazz, I was struck all the more by how those qualities come together in his sonnets, and bring a host of challenging topics along with them, into a constant, loose-fitting music. When I called him to ask all kinds of questions about his writing process, he talked with me for a good hour. After giving me a lot of great advice about sonnets' rhetoric and history, he showed the amazing kindness of including one of my Batman sonnets in his Cortland Review essay.

Then, the other day, he e-mailed with the possibility of an AWP panel on comic books in poetry, and, within the day, we had assembled the awesome superhero lit team of Bryan Dietrich, Sarah Weinman, and Steve Burt to complete the panel. All of that is to say that his generosity of heart and knowledge is a real inspiration, and I was struck by that while looking again at Sad Jazz a day or three ago.

Aliki has been a huge help, too, offering a lot of great advice about translation, which I definitely need. Translation, like sonnet composition, is the best kind of challenge so far, and incredible fun. I hope that both of those qualities describe your day.


Blogger shana said...

I was at the AWP conference and found your blog while trying to look for your batman sonnets! Where can I find them?

Anyway, thanks so much for being part of my favorite panel of the conference!

3:10 PM  

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