Brian Spears

Poet, Editor, Teacher, Blogger.

Some Post-National-Poetry-Month Thoughts

  1. I’m really proud of the selection of poems and poets I was able to gather for The Rumpus project. I got good poems from a wide variety of poets–I discussed that variety here–and had a strong month in terms of reviews and interviews as well, something I hope will carry over into the rest of the year.
  2. I had a good month creatively, and I’m not just talking about the poems I wrote for NaPoWriMo, though some of those (more than I anticipated at the start) will see further work and revision. I started a new book-length project that’s way outside my previous aesthetic and I’ve had more fun writing than I’ve had in a long time. Something I hope, again, that will carry over into the rest of the year.
  3. Oh, am I ready for summer, even though I’ll be teaching a class for the first six weeks of it.
  4. I’m really going to try to keep blogging regularly here, even though I’ve had troubles keeping it up in the past. I’ve always felt a little unsure of myself when writing about poetry issues, and while I’ve gotten better about it since I’ve been poetry editor of The Rumpus, I still have trouble coming up with topics. But I’m going to try, even though I won’t be posting a new poem every day.

May 1, 2010 Posted by | Brian Spears, National Poetry Month, poetry, The Rumpus | Leave a comment

My BookTV Appearance

Back in the fall of 2004, as the Kerry-Bush campaign wound down, Stephen Elliott asked me if I would open for him as a reader at the Stanford bookstore. He was promoting his new book at the time, Looking Forward To It. I had no idea that the C-SPAN cameras would be there until the night before, when I accidentally ran into some friends having dinner in San Francisco and they let it slip.

Anyway, the appearance went off without a hitch, and I bought a copy of the DVD from C-SPAN–those are expensive, by the way–and for four years didn’t have a way to rip it and put the video online. Until last night, when Amy did it for me.

By way of excusing these poems, I can say that only one is published, and only two remain in my manuscript, the unpublished one having undergone some serious changes in the intervening years. Ah, the pain of looking at old work.


August 12, 2008 Posted by | Brian Spears, C-Span, Looking Forward To It., shameless self promotion, Stephen Elliott | Leave a comment

Me. Not me.

There are a lot of people named Brian Spears out there, and a few of them are more famous than I am. That’s not a high bar to clear, mind you–I’m a poet, for starters, and even the best known poets in the US are barely recognized at literary conferences. I don’t even have a book yet, which gives you a sense of where I am on that totem pole. Somewhere below the footing, I’d imagine.

One of those namesakes, probably the most famous, doesn’t even spell his name the same way. He’s Bryan Spears, who’s the brother of the most famous Spears on the planet. I talked about it in passing here, and the coincidental connections between our families are amusing at times. They generally help me get through the first day of classes–both have mothers named Lynn(e), his sister and my daughter share a name (also different spellings), and we lived relatively near to each other. In fact, at one time, Bryan and I were in college together–Southeastern Louisiana University. I discovered this when a friend asked me why I wasn’t in math class–I hadn’t had a math class in a year by that time. The story gets less interesting from there.

Then there’s this one, who sounds like he has a really cook job. Special effects guy with an IMDB page and everything. Seriously, I’m impressed.

There’s this Brian Spears, who works in real estate and is a former Marine, and this one, who’s a defense lawyer.

And then there’s the other blogger, the other Brian Spears. When I clicked on his blog a couple of days ago, I saw my polar opposite. It was like that episode of Star Trek where Kirk (my middle name, frighteningly enough) gets split into his good self and his evil self. I leave it to the reader to decide which of us is which.

I’m kidding on that last part, of course, but we really are different. He’s a conservative Christian who mourns that Huckabee is out of the presidential race. I’m a progressive atheist who wishes the two Democrats were more liberal. About the only thing we have in common is that we both like Macs over PCs. Look at his blogger profile–we could be brothers. At least cousins. Scary stuff.

So anyway, for anyone looking for the poet Brian Spears, from Louisiana, who went to Arkansas for grad school, who was a Stegner Fellow, here you go. Me. Not me. Me. Not me. Me. Not me. I hope that clears up any confusion.

March 24, 2008 Posted by | Brian Spears, name sharing | Leave a comment

A New Poetic Home on the Web

I couldn’t pass it up. I was hoping to add some different functionality to my main blog, so I set one up to test on, and the name was available. What was I supposed to do?

When I started Incertus four years ago, I was planning on making it a blog that dealt with politics and poetics, and over the years I’ve tried, without success, to make it more of a poetry blog. It’s not going to happen, I’ve decided, so since I have this place now, I’ll make it lit-centered. I’ll put some of my work up here, boast about my successes (hopefully without seeming too geeky about it), and if and when I get a book published, this will be the main hub dealing with it.

And maybe I’ll actually write some critical stuff as well. You never know.

February 23, 2008 Posted by | Brian Spears, Incertus, poetry | Leave a comment