Double Ds: Bruce Covey

Bruce Covey joins the Double Ds!

Bruce Covey is the author of The Greek Gods as Telephone Wires, Elapsing Speedway Organism, and Ten Pins, Ten Frames.  His recent poems also appear or are forthcoming in Aufgabe, Verse, LIT, Columbia Poetry Review, and other journals.  He edits the web-based poetry magazine Coconut.

Denise Asks:
How does your expertise in technology serve your poems?

Bruce Covey:
Once I had a concept for a poem that was particularly technologically challenging—I wanted to fill a page with texts about circles from three sources in variations of threes (1 sentence from the 1st, 2 from the 2nd, 3 from the 3rd; then 2 from the 1st, 3 from the 2nd, 1 from the 3rd, & so on), then essentially delete everything other than the content contained in six circular holes of diameters 1, 1, 1, 2, 2, & 3 inches.  I had no idea how to do this on the computer, so my friend Jen helped me to a construct a mask or “layer” to achieve this electronically.  Since then I’ve used photoshop quite a bit, plus html for my web-based magazine, Coconut.  But I also like to entertain the parallels between poems & things like lines of code or mathematical proofs, i.e., the possibilities of the poem as tautological construct, or as a vector from Point A to Point G with B through F in between.  & the actual rhetoric of the electronic world & physics & math is so infectious I often find it creeping its way into my poems.  Sometimes too I love to work with a concept or notion in physics or math or computers as a structural device for a poem, rather than relying solely on syllabic patterns.  & yet even traditional forms like pantoums have a kind of mathematics; & what could be more expressive of physics than a sonnet, with—in the Petrarchan example—the revolutions & gravitation between two bodies (the octet & sestet) at its heart?

Dustin Asks:
What’s your pick to receive the Oscar for Best Picture?

Bruce Covey:
Gosh, I’m clueless when it comes to films & the Oscars, so I just googled the nominations.  Mostly I only go to see children’s movies with my daughters, but I did see Avatar, which I didn’t really like.  I mean, the special effects were beautiful, but the plot was problematic.  I loved Up—a simple, but genuinely moving story—but I don’t think they would give the prize to a predominately kid’s film.  & I’ve heard of several of the others, but don’t really know them, so I’ll say the prize will go to Precious, because when I closed my eyes & pointed to my computer screen, that’s the one I pointed to.

Today: Denise Duhamel at Emory!

Duhamel reads tonight at Emory University.  The reading starts at 8pm in the multipurpose room at Few Hall. Parking is available in the Peavine Lot. To get to Few Hall, turn left out of Peavine and walk along Eagle Row, passing the Greek houses. Few Hall is the second dorm on your right at the end of the Greek houses.

In other news, the Limp Wrist sponsored workshop will not take place on Friday.  (Blame the economy!)

RIP: Lucille Clifton

Lucille Clifton, one-time poet laureate of Md., dies at 73

I just got from an evening with friends to find out Lucille Clifton has passed away.  We’ve lost a treasure.  Lucille Clifton, you’ll be missed.

Here’s a Clifton poem in tribute:

miss rosie

when I watch you
wrapped up like garbage
sitting, surrounded by the smell
of too old potato peels
when I watch you
in your old man’s shoes
with the little toe cut out
sitting, waiting for your mind
like next week’s grocery
I say
when I watch you
you wet brown bag of a woman
who used to be the best looking gal in Georgia
used to be called the Georgia Rose
I stand up
through your destruction
I stand up

Project Verse… Say What?


Project Verse was one of the single most enjoyable experiences of my life. The concept is totally innovative, in that it’s a contest about producing work, not just dusting off your three ‘best’ poems and sending them off to be judged by someone famous; by the end of the contest, I felt like I had produced a mini manuscript out of blood, sweat and tears– those deadlines popped up real quick, every week!

I loved interacting with the judges and the other competitors, and by the end of the summer, I felt like my writing had taken leaps and bounds, and I’d gained several new and valuable friends. I’d recommend it to anyone looking to sharpen their writing skills and have a great time doing it.
~ Emily Van Duyne, Season 1 Winner

You can’t pay for the kind of nose-to-the-grindstone polishing that your words get from an experience like Project Verse. Thanks to Project Verse, me and my poems were introduced to a wide array of priceless criticism.  Project Verse gave me confidence in my ability to revise, confidence in my ability to turn out drafts in just a few days. I walked away from Project Verse with a dozen new poems, a dozen more in the bullpen — not to mention offers for interviews and queries for publication. I would encourage poets of any skill level to apply for Project Verse.
~W.F. Roby, Season 1 Top 3 Finalist