Academic journal article The Midwest Quarterly

A Note on the Author

Academic journal article The Midwest Quarterly

A Note on the Author

Article excerpt

Greg Kuzma has published numerous books, including most recently Selected Poems (Carnegie Mellon, 1996) and Wind Rain and Stars and the Grass Growing (Orehises, 1994). Other long poems of his have appeared in Tri-Quarterly, Iowa Review, Massachusetts Review, Crazyhorse, Poetry East, Literary Review, Prairie Schooner, Zone 3, North Dakota Quarterly, New Letters, and other journals. His poems have also appeared previously in The Midwest Quarterly. Kuzma teaches poetry writing at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and lives in Crete, Nebraska.

In the first Great Plains Poets issue of The Midwest Quarterly (Summer, 1995, XXXVI, No. 4: 391-392), Kuzma published the following statement about his writing of long poems:

Six years ago I found myself writing longer poems. Did I have more to say? Had my sense of the poem changed? Had I written so many short poems I was not interested in them anymore? I don't know. I began to write poems that were partly narratives, partly meditations, partly lyrics. I was interested, I discovered, in sustaining lyric intensity over greater and greater lengths. I also decided that I would no longer be guided by the principle which guides so many of us, to leave things out. I was interested, on the contrary, to get everything in. It's been a lot of fun! How far can a poem go and still hold the reader? How many disparate elements can the poem contain before it starts to pull apart? How long can a digression go before both the reader and writer forget where we started? …

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