Monday, September 19, 2005

Thomas Sayers Ellis

I heard Thomas Sayers Ellis read from his new book, The Maverick Room, yesterday. I read "T.A.P.O.A.F.O.M." in Best American Poetry 2001 several years ago, thought it was great, noted its rhythmic patterns, and decided I had to hear this guy read sometime. I got my chance yesterday.

What I admired most about his poetry was his ability to create structure with sound (not necessarily rhyme) and non-metrical rhythm. His reading of his work is very intense, and very exacting. He gives each word weight--it is a sort of performance poetry, but one that does well on the page, too. Listening to him read, I got a better feeling for his mind, the directions of his digressions, his methodology, how his structures must make sense to him.

That's one of the things I'm after these days--sound and rhythm as structure.

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