Poet in Residence
From time to time a poet is in residence at the Poetry Archive, talking about poetry with anyone who wants to join in the conversation. You are welcome to explore our archive of past residencies and read some of the lively and varied discussions you'll find there.
Kei Miller - 2 March 2010
It's a perfect time to do this experiment because I've just been asked to write a poem on 'Bob Marley' for a journal. I would have usually passed on such a commission; I don't think poems about such iconic people usually work and it's a tough challenge to avoid the usual cliches and sentimentality that can creep into a 'tribute' poems.
So, to be honest, I'm not sure if this will work - but each day for the next week, I will try to shape a draft of this poem.
Kei Miller - 15 February 2010
But pretensions aside, I appreciate how one art often helps us to appreciate another. I listen to the chefs talk about cultivating a good palette and to me this is exactly how poets might work hard to cultivate a good ear. I am intrigued by how chefs try to balance a plate and how they work to bring different components together, and how in ambitious cooking we try combinations that the regular person might not expect but that work Ã¢Â€Â“ that surprise us but are still that comforting balance of salt and sweet, spicy but not overpowering.
Kei Miller - 27 January 2010
I don't mean to be a curmudgeon, though it's true: five days after the earthquake and I was already tired of all the facebook status messages that simply had to mention the quake in one way or another. I became wary, as I often do, of the world having gone into its saviour mode - how we had begung begging to be congratulated and validated because, just for this moment, we had remembered our humanity. I know I shouldn't be so critical.
Kei Miller - 17 January 2010
But it's true, I am afraid; and maybe it is true for all of us. We don't like everything. Also, some poems are only for a season. We grow into one poem as we grow out of another. The wonderful thing is this: there are so many good poets out there, writing eloquently and movingly, and in so many different ways. We don't have to try to like everyone - even those who everyone else says we should like.
Kei Miller - 14 January 2010
You see, poets often dislike labels and they especially dislike those that would seem to appoint them spokespersons for any one group. After all - the Chicano poet or the queer Poet or the feminist poet, if they are worth their salt, will soon realize they have ambitions to write something larger than Chicano poetry or queer poetry or feminist poetry.