Author: Lesley Wheeler

  • Not only close but intimate reading

    Not only close but intimate reading

    My spouse, Chris Gavaler, and I met while working on a Rutgers undergraduate literary magazine, The Anthologist. We were both chiefly poets then, shaping each other’s opinions in long Sunday night arguments over submissions (and sometimes over a twelve-pack). After graduation, we moved in together, after which followed many years of reading each other’s drafts; […]

  • Broadside giveaway, reviews, & long views

    Broadside giveaway, reviews, & long views

    If you’ve reviewed Poetry’s Possible Worlds in a magazine, or on Goodreads, Amazon, or your blog–or if you can post a review, even a brief one, in any of those venues in the next month or so–I’d be glad to send you one of the beautiful broadsides Ecotone commissioned after awarding my poem “Unsonnet” the […]

  • Mycelial poetry devouring the ruins

    Mycelial poetry devouring the ruins

    For the last couple of years, my muse has been mycelial. I mean both that fungus infests my current mss–I’m revising a poetry collection and a novel–and, in a related way, that a mycelial life seems like what I ought to be aiming for. Spreading tendrils underground, sprouting mushrooms after a storm, metabolizing trouble: these […]

  • Electing another trajectory

    Electing another trajectory

    I’ve known since childhood that to many people, I’m not a full person, but I can’t pinpoint the moment I grasped it. Sexual assaults in college and high school were strong messages that my body didn’t belong to me. In a middle school class debate, a teacher required me to argue AGAINST the Equal Rights […]

  • Eyeballs on books & minds between covers

    Eyeballs on books & minds between covers

    It’s the ONE MONTH ANNIVERSARY of Poetry’s Possible Worlds, woo-hoo! Well, actually, tomorrow is, but I have a minor surgery in the morning, outpatient stuff but it involves an eyeball (horrors), and I have no idea if I’ll be in shape, afterward, for looking at screens. This is my summer life beyond writing: I catch […]

  • Tendrils, connections, & kindness in publishing

    Tendrils, connections, & kindness in publishing

    We arrived in Virginia yesterday to a home landscape that’s lusher and more humid. This morning I went to the weekly farmer’s market and the produce has changed: zucchini, beets, and cherry tomatoes are edging out the strawberries, delicate greens, and scapes. My son and I took a walk after and found vines extending tendrils […]

  • Filaments & telephone lines

    Filaments & telephone lines

    A potential alternate title for this post: talking myself out of post-book-launch blues. Yesterday, as I was troubleshooting on various book-related fronts, I started wondering if “troubleshooting” was another of the military metaphors that colonize my vocabulary (“front” is one). The original meaning of troubleshooting, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, was a pleasant surprise. […]

  • I’m floating in a most peculiar way

    I’m floating in a most peculiar way

    Book launch days bring a weird energy. That combined with the planetary riffs in Poetry’s Possible Worlds has Bowie’s “Space Oddity” looping in my head, which is a pretty good soundtrack, really. Not that I’ve become untethered like Major Tom, but yesterday was full of “Big Bang Day” social media tweets, pre-party anxiety, and a […]

  • Countdown…and teaching ideas for Poetry’s Possible Worlds

    I’m getting very close now to the launch of Poetry’s Possible Worlds and therefore working hard on Poetry’s Possible Publicity. The task is a supermassive black hole tugging at my effort and energy, most of which will vanish without a trace–but I still believe in putting it out there. As Claudia Emerson framed it to […]

  • My mother’s haiku

    Daughter, it seems that I talked nonstop now I speak without talking Somewhere around 2010, I taught a class in our four-week May term on writing poetry in forms. One project we did together: after reading more serious haiku and renku, my students had to staff a public booth and write haiku on commission in […]