Brian Spears

Poet, Editor, Teacher, Blogger.

Year in Review?

I can’t even remember most of the year, and I don’t really talk too much about personal stuff anywhere online anymore, but I do have two pieces of writing news to share here, both of which meant a lot to me personally. The first is that one of the poems from my collection A Witness in Exile was selected by filmmaker Ged Murray to be part of Season 10 of Motion Poems. Here’s a link for your viewing pleasure.

The best part of this experience for me was seeing how Murray and Erin McGathy (called The Worrier in the credits) interpreted my poem in a way I hadn’t really considered before, with that sense of frenetic terror. I was in a much more contemplative mood when I wrote it, and they took my musing on the vastness of time and the universe and survival and shrunk it down to this day, this moment of near panic. It really drove home for me, even though I’ve known this for a long time, how little control any writer has over how their work is perceived by the audience, and how a poem, as Miller Williams once wrote, comes into existence when the imagination of the writer and the imagination of the reader come together inside an act of language.

The other news was the publication of this poem in Crab Orchard Review’s special food issue.

It’s titled “Praise Song for Peppers,” and it’s from a set of poems I started working on last year where I’m exploring my own relationship with food which started with something I wrote for Vinegar and Char, an anthology put together by Sandra Beasley where I wrote about making my own muffulettas because I can’t get them here in Iowa.

This publication meant a lot because I’ve long admired Crab Orchard Review and its editors Jon Tribble and Allison Joseph, and I was really excited to get the acceptance. But it was only a few days after sending back my final approval of the proofs that Jon died, which was a tremendous loss both to the poetry community and the world.

The biggest non-writing news of the year was me breaking the shit out of my left arm after falling on some ice at work back in February. If you run into me in person, I’ll show you the surgery scar. I got a small sense of what my dad lived with his entire life, and how challenging it is to do every day tasks with one functional arm and hand.

See you next year (?)

December 30, 2019 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment