features EARL J. WILCOX
Winter Project Poets 2007
Essay: Merrifield
Oh, Canada! 2007
Memoriam: Reninger


"I felt frustrated and confused about the project initially because I'd never worked through an ‘assignment' such as this, having not ever been in poetry writing courses or anything quite like what Eve (Hanninen) was proposing. I had some difficulty even understanding the concept of the interactive potential of the process. It might have helped me to know what some of the other contributors were working on as I needed ‘inspiration' through most of the weeks while I was trying to find my voice and contribution."

                                        ~ Earl J. Wilcox

Interactive Poetry Project


"Songs of Innocence"
William Blake - 1789

Winter Solstice: Variations and Dreams

As in our first wintertime,
we still embrace
each other's desire
for the longest evening never to end,
revel in ecstasies found
in hours together
which postpone oncoming

How do we arrive here?

                    We                                             She                                           He

"little expect sightings of incubi"     "fifty winter solstices hold us fast"     "revel in ecstasies found"

E. A. Hanninen - 2007

Eve Anthony Hanninen: Would you ever get involved in an interactive project of this nature, again? Would you like to see more online journals and magazines participate in interactive projects?

Earl J. Wilcox: Once I chose Option D, I understood more clearly how to proceed, and I had delight in creating a poem with alternate beginnings. I would definitely participate again in a process like this, though I'd still probably have misgivings until I produced a poem. That was my own weakness – not having enough faith that ultimately I would be able to complete the ‘assignment.'

EAH: Where or when have you learned the most about writing (poetry or other) – through formal education, personal passion, mentor, or equal combinations of resources? And do you have a person – or group of people (writers or other peers, audience, etc.) – who gives you regular feedback on your writing?

EJW: I did not write poetry until I was past 70 (I'm now 73), though I have a Ph.D in literature and taught for more than 40 years. I discovered my voice in poetry and the long prose poem – my favorite form – is a genre in which I can make use of an extensive background in literary theory, history, and knowledge of the lives of poets. I do not belong to a writing group, though I have a couple of online writing buddies and an editor, named Eve, who will give me specific, honest analysis. Though I have written over 100 and published more than two dozen poems in the past two years, I still feel I am a novice. I would be glad to collaborate with others online and will eventually join a writers' group . . . perhaps.

Earl J. Wilcox, founder of The Robert Frost Review, has been strongly influenced by Frost and Galway Kinnell. Wilcox also dotes on Whitman, Dickinson, and all things contemporary. His poetry currently appears in ‘zines such as Lunarosity, Word Riot, Southern Gothic Online, Strange Horizons, and Underground Voices, and one of his poems was recently nominated for a Pushcart prize. This winter, as in all others, his fancies turn to spring training for baseball, a topic he also writes about.

Earl is a regular contributor to The Centrifugal Eye.

Contemporary Poetry With An Eye Towards Resistance

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