Sharing with Stuart Dybek

Posted on March 10, 2011

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I love Stuart Dybek. Well, I technically have never met him. But I love his writing.

I recently watched Bob Hicok reading his poem, “Speaking American.” The poem begins: “When he learned I’m a poet he asked if I knew this other poet. We don’t all know each other, I told him, as he informed me she likes cheese similes. Love is like cheese. Time is like cheese. Cheese is surprisingly like cheese. Then I said ‘I know this poet’ and he went ‘see?’ He ‘went see’ he means he said ‘see,’ see? But you know that if you’re American and alive. I explained that ‘I know this poet’ means I know her work…”

There are no line breaks provided because, as I mentioned, I watched a video and listened to the poem and did not actually read it. But it illustrates my point just the same. I know Stuart Dybek. I know his work. I love his work.

That is why I nearly peed my pants the other day from excitement. The 2011 Spring issue of The Smoking Poet features an interview with Stuart Dybek. More importantly (well, more importantly to me) is that this issue also features my poem, “Transplanted.” This means I am sharing literary space with Stuart Dybek.

Dybek is one of my favorite writers, especially when it comes to poetry. Streets in Their Own Ink is sitting on my bookshelf right now. Sharing an issue of a literary magazine with him is an honor. Dybek has been compared by some (I don’t know who, but some) to Ernest Hemingway. Like him or not (I, personally, do not), Hemingway is a heavy name. And by “him” I assume you know that I am referring to his work, not Hemingway as a person.

Today is a happy day. I can now say, without lying, that I can be found inside the same literary journal as Stuart Dybek, and I like Stuart Dybek.

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