Brian Spears

Poet, Editor, Teacher, Blogger.

The Rumpus Is a Place for Poets

Isaac Fitzgerald, the awesome managing editor of The Rumpus, just posted this little blurb promoting our Supersized Combo with Neil de la Flor, and I want to return some love.

About a year and a half ago, Stephen Elliott invited me to write a weekly column on poetry–a weekly linkfest, if you will–to be published on The Rumpus every weekend. I’d written for Stephen before, on his website, and had read with him years before at the Stanford Bookstore (which was filmed by BookTV, my one moment of fame), so I took him up on it. And then I wrote a piece on Elizabeth Alexander’s Inaugural Poem, and a review of Dan Albergotti’s The Boatloads. And after a little more flirting, Stephen proposed–would I like to be the poetry editor.

So to the extent that I’ve been able to make The Rumpus a place for poets, it’s due Stephen’s conscious effort to make it so. Stephen’s given me a great deal of latitude to publish what I want, in the manner I want, and I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished. Most weeks now we publish at least one, and often two reviews of new collections of poetry, along with original poems I’ve solicited, and occasionally, interviews with younger poets.

It’s been really good for me as well. I’ve broadened my horizons as to the kinds of poetry I read and write. And even on those days when I feel a little overwhelmed by the job (like last night when I was furiously formatting that combo), I still love the job. I plan to keep doing it for a while.

And in case you haven’t heard, this is our next big deal for poetry. A Rumpus Poetry Book Club. How awesome is that? (I could use a hand choosing the book for my month–something dropping in either October or November.)


July 9, 2010 - Posted by | Uncategorized


  1. When I first checked out The Rumpus, in the beta days, seeing poetry there was the clincher for me.

    Am trying to scrape together the bucks for the RPBC. Keep up the good work!

    Comment by Robin Elizabeth Sampson | July 9, 2010 | Reply

  2. Cough. My book comes out in Oct. or Nov. /Cough

    Comment by Ashley Anna McHugh | July 9, 2010 | Reply

  3. I think you’re doing a superb job.

    Comment by Daniel Nester | July 9, 2010 | Reply

  4. I love that you create and contribute to these communities for poetry, which in some contemporary literary environments is extinct. Paul Muldoon (Pulitzer, Princeton Prof, Irishman, Rockstar) penned an incredible 10-part circus of a poem for The American Scholar’s Summer issue. Personally, it seems almost Tom Waits-ian, but it’s all Paul, and it’s worth taking a read. You can find it here:


    Comment by Lindsey | July 21, 2010 | Reply

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