I am a poet and neuropsychologist, which is maybe a wacky combination, but one that has given me choices I’ve enjoyed. For instance, I have taught both literature and neuropsychology at the university level. But it turned out that I’ve preferred to practice as a neuropsychologist in a New England medical center, simply because of the wild events that occur there in the lives of people who suffer neurological problems. You would hardly believe the stories. I would also argue that it is a good thing to pitch in and help people in extremity.
I would argue further that psychology contributes to poetry and poetic theory–which is the point of this blog. People in extremes suggest persuasive images, inspire compelling ideas, change lives irresistibly, alter received opinions, revise values and priorities, and weed out less important relationships in favor of lasting ones. They can induce profound, ungated emotions as well, especially in me. Life creates the need for creativity to put things together in a novel way, because conventional wisdom is insufficient. Practice in neuropsychology contributes essentially to practice in poetry–which is yet another argument I want to make.
I have published two books of poetry: Genealogies, and My Gargantuan Desire–both by Greenhouse Review Press. Both are available on Amazon. I have published two chapbooks as well: Limits of Resurrection, and Propagandas. My poems and critical articles have appeared in various magazines, including Chicago Review, Parnassus, Massachusetts Review, Shenandoah, The Formalist, The Sandhills Review, Illinois Quarterly, and Faultline
This blog, as the subtitle promises, is largely literary, in which you will find extended reviews of contemporary poets. The articles here are not constrained to short blurbs and descriptions, but open into sustained meditations on the work of individual books, and the scope of a poet’s work as a whole. You will find materials on such poets as Aracelis Girmay, Robin Becker, Gary Young, Killarney Clary, Jennifer Richter, M.B. McLatchey, Maria Hummel, as well as Frank Bidart, Charles Wright and Maxine Kumin. There is also an article here on the death of Garcia Marquez, chiefly because the size of that loss required some acknowledgement.
For those who may be curious about what a neuropsychologist does all day, or about the way neuropsychology cuts into topics arising in both literature and science, there is a category–Medical Life–that contains thoughts and descriptions of the bizarre and startling questions neurological insults can pose.