A note on Tony Hoagland, may he rest in peace

I never really met Tony Hoagland, was just another face in the crowd of a small poetry conference he was a guest author at, but when I had occasion to read a little bit of my work there, I got from him a “That’s what I’m talkin’ about” that I will take to my grave as the highest compliment. At that conference he talked interestingly about being conscious of how we get the reader into a poem. Do we throw open the front door, or do we slide the reader through a side entrance? Do we make her crawl through a window, or drop him down a mine shaft? Be aware of the access route, he counseled. So I pass that very useful bit of writerly consciousness on to you, in his honor. Thank you, Tony.

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