Contributions by Jim Danger Coppoc

Poetry Out Loud

By | Jim Danger Coppoc, Poetics, Prose

Next month, I will be judging the State Finals for Poetry Out Loud in Iowa. Poetry Out Loud is a national recitation contest where high schoolers choose a selection of canonical poems to perform from the stage to a live audience. I’ve done judging and coaching for POL in several states, and I’ve given most …

So You Want to be a Writer…

By | Jim Danger Coppoc, Poetics, Prose

At least once a month—and just about every time I do a reading—someone asks me for advice on publishing, getting a job, getting into an MFA program, etc. Most of the time this person is already a writer, and when I see their work it’s usually pretty good, but they also always seem to be …

Dead White Males, and Other Truish Stereotypes of Canon

By | Jim Danger Coppoc, Poetics, Prose

I’m writing this blog on Columbus Day. Because I am an American of Euro and Indian heritage, this is not one of those days I can ignore race. I actually think about race quite a bit these days. Because I teach both literature and creative writing, from both mainstream and American Indian Studies perspectives, and …

Slam

By | Jim Danger Coppoc, Poetics, Prose

I wanna hear a poem about revolution about fists raised high and hips twisting in a rumble like a rhumba I wanna follow the footsteps of Che and hear the truth about the day the CIA killed Lumumba -from Steve Coleman, “I Wanna Hear a Poem” I’m waiting just offstage, two hours after the plane …

Scriptorium

By | Jim Danger Coppoc, Poetics, Prose

My grandmother used to turn off her hearing aids at what seemed like the oddest times. There are those in my family who considered this an act of passive aggression. The more of herself she lost to dementia, though, the more striking the difference became between those moments the hearing aids were on, and she …

The 400-pound Nutritionist

By | Jim Danger Coppoc, Prose

I have a friend. One of those friends. The type who goes to parties intent on sharing her personal life with anyone who will listen, hoping to get some sort of support/advice/sympathy. She’s tragic and gorgeous, so of course a good chunk of the party is always willing to comply. I can remember clearly a …

Poetry is Dead… Again

By | Jim Danger Coppoc, Poetics, Prose

by Jim Danger Coppoc So apparently, poetry is dead. I know this because I hear it at parties. I know this because all my poet friends are terrified of their own irrelevance. I know this because Mark Edmundson of the University of Virginia—in the latest installment of a centuries long tradition of replaying again and …

The Guest Critic

By | Jim Danger Coppoc, Poetics, Prose

by Jim Danger Coppoc So there’s this setup I keep walking into. I get invited to be a guest critic (and sometimes even a “celebrity” guest critic!) for workshops run by various poetry and arts organizations. At least half the time, I’m the youngest person in the room—sometimes by several decades. There’s always a wide …