Category Archives: Poetics

On the Problem and Promise of Alex Caldiero’s Sonosophy

In January of 2011, I shared my dissertation proposal on Alex Caldiero’s sonosophy and my comprehensive Ph.D. exam lists with the community at A Motley Vision. I passed my comps in early June 2012 and defended my dissertation the first day of May this year. I won’t lie: while I’ve been changed as a person and a scholar by engaging… Read more »

Enter the Poetarium:
On the Problem and Promise of Alex Caldiero’s Sonosophy

After nine years of doctoral study, I’m finally putting my PhD to bed. I defend my dissertation the morning of May 1 and will be presenting some of my research in a colloquium that afternoon. If anyone’s in the Pocatello area and would like to drop in for my presentation, here are the details: Title: “Enter the Poetarium: On the… Read more »

On Poets & Poetry: Salt to the World

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BYU Studies Quarterly just published my review essay on two recent poetry collections: Susan Elizabeth Howe’s Salt (Signature Books, 2013) and Lance Larsen’s Genius Loci (University of Tampa Press, 2013). Both collections are well-worth your time and they sustain and reward multiple readings. Here’s an excerpt, right from the middle of my review, to whet your lyric appetite: Mormon theology… Read more »

Alex Caldiero’s Performative Poesis:
Making, the Makar, and Mormonism

Earlier this month, I presented some of my research on Alex Caldiero’s sonosophy at the AML Conference. After I posted my presentation proposal here, Scott also posted his, and Th. expressed his hope that we would record our papers “for the internet since that’s the only way nonattendees can be assured of hearing them later.” Th.’s request solidified my intention… Read more »

Notes on How to Read a Poem

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I’m of two minds about National Poetry Month. In one sense, I appreciate the effort (initiated by the Academy of American Poets and institutionalized in April 1996 by President Clinton’s administration) “to highlight the extraordinary legacy and ongoing achievement of American poets; [to] introduce Americans to the pleasures and benefits of reading poetry; [to] bring poets and poetry to the… Read more »

The Makar, Making, and Mormonism: Tyler’s 2014 AML Conference Proposal

Each year, my wife and I look forward to making a pilgrimage to Orem, Utah to attend the annual Association for Mormon Letters Conference. I’ve also made it an annual practice to share my conference proposal once I’ve submitted it. In 2012, I proposed and presented “Situating Sonosophy: De/constructing Alex Caldiero’s ‘Poetarium’” and in 2013 I proposed “Performative Poesis and… Read more »

“They’ve made me a Queen”: Revisiting “Our Lord Jesus in Drag”

Dayna Patterson’s cross-dressing Jesus has been on my mind lately. (Take that as you will.) One reason for this is because, since I wrote about Dayna’s “Our Lord Jesus in Drag” in July 2012, I’ve wanted to give it voice. And I’ve wanted to give it voice because the first time I read the poem it’s rhythms struck me as… Read more »

Clinton F. Larson on Poetic Craft: The Value of Making Excursions into Experience

Karl Keller, poet, professor, and critic, once called Clinton F. Larson “the first Mormon poet” (ref). Rather, that’s what the editor of Dialogue says Keller argues in his review of Larson’s The Lord of Experience (see the reference link at the end of my first sentence). To be exact, though: Keller opens his review with this claim: “I think that… Read more »

Mormon Poetry, Have You Met TED? The Case of Calvin Olsen

Maybe that should read, in the voice of Robert Pinsky, “TED, have you met Mormon Poetry?” Or more specifically, though still in Pinsky’s voice, “TED, have you met Calvin Olsen, American Poet?” But I’ll get to Pinsky and Calvin soon enough. TED is no stranger to contemporary poetry. On the TED stage, former U.S. Poet Laureate Billy Collins has admitted… Read more »