Poems, Essays, and More

Overview/An Invitation

Southern ReviewHere are links to poems and essays, as well as other content, organized for easy review. Please use these links not only to learn more about Martin Lammon but also to follow links to (or search for) the writers, journals, presses, and organizations referenced here. Note: The Internet is always in flux, so links current now may not work in the future. This site will make every effort to check links regularly, and add new links as available.

Please contact the site if you find a broken or weak link. Thanks!

Podcast Interview with Martin Lammon

Is AnythingListen to the interview “Martin Lammon & Poetry” featured on Jeremy Uriz’s Atlanta-based podcast Is Anything. In addition to stories about the poet’s life and family, topics include: How Poetry Changed in the 20th Century; The Poetry ReadingPoetry and Vulnerability. The interview concludes with Lammon reading two poems included in his new book of poems The Long Road Home: “My Wife and I Learn to Accept Our Clutter” and “Blood Mountain Villanelle.”

Poems and Creative Essays by Martin Lammon

Two poems in The Southern Review (49:4, Autumn 2013) on Project Muse.

An essay, “My Name Is,” in The Iowa Review (33:3, Winter 2003-2004; runner-up for the Iowa Award for Literary Nonfiction). This essay actually combined two essays (“My Name Is” and “Moon Man”), included in a collection of essays in-progress about living in Costa Rica: “Nine Degrees North: Essays from the Land of la Pura Vida.”

A poem, “Sestina Qué Triste,” Connotation Press (Vol. III, Issue VI, July 2017).

An essay, “Making Acquaintance: Second Hand Notes on James Wright,” in The Iowa Review (17:1, Winter 1987). A hybrid essay on the life and work of James Wright, a blend of bibliographic research, criticism, and creative nonfiction.

Three poems, The Tusculum Review online (December 6, 2012).

Poetry reading, Poetry @ Tech (August 26, 2006), video on YouTube.

Interviews, Essays, Observations and More

Issue01-139x198Article, “One Editor’s Take on Clean Competition,” (Poets & Writers, Sept/Oct 2005). Martin Lammon, founding editor of Arts & Letters, argues for fiscal integrity in the way journals and presses conduct contests and fund prizes. Most importantly, he argues that marketing costs and prizes should not be funded by submission fees.

An interview with Donald Hall, “Flying Revision’s Flag” (originally published in the first issue of Kestrel: A Journal of Literature and Art in the New World, Spring 1993), available on the Academy of American Poets website. Martin Lammon first met Donald Hall in 1980, and the two poets have corresponded often ever since. HalPoetsonPoetryl acknowledges Lammon in his poetry collection The Happy Man (Random House, 1986), and in 1996, Lammon edited an anthology of essays, Written in Water, Written in Stone: Twenty Years of Poets on Poetry (University of Michigan Press), which celebrates Hall’s two decades as the editor of the press’s “Poets on Poetry” series. In the early 2000’s, Lammon’s gift and fund-raising efforts helped to establish The Association of Writers and Writing Programs’ annual Donald Hall Prize for a book of poems, AWP’s first endowed book prize. Learn more about Donald Hall’s life and work at the Academy of American Poets web site, or at an excellent April 2017 post on Jack Preston King’s “Beyond the Robot” web site.

AWP Don Hall CoverDonald Hall passed away in late June of 2018. At the AWP Portland (Oregon) conference in the spring of 2019, Lammon organized a tribute to Hall that included Alicia Ostriker, Tree Swenson, and Barbara Hamby (winner of the first Donald Hall prize for her collection Babel, selected by Pulitzer Prize winning poet Stephen Dunn). In the September issue of the AWP Writer’s Chronicle, Lammon published the essay “An Eye for the Long Run: A Tribute to Donald Hall” (AWP members can read the article online).

Chapter on “Creative Non-Fiction,” in Teaching Creative Writing (ed. Graeme Harper, Bloomsbury Publishing/Continuum, 2006). Lammon was asked to write this chapter for Graeme Harper’s textbook. In addition to information about the history of the genre and strategies for writing creative nonfiction, the chapter offers an A-Z list of recommended creative nonfiction authors’ works. The book also includes chapters on writing poetry, short fiction, the novel, plays, film, and more. Lammon’s award-winning essays have been published widely in journals such as The Chattahoochee Review, The Iowa Review, Zone 3, and more. Note: Link is to Google Books, which doesn’t show the complete chapter.

An essay by Derick Varn, “To a Few of My Mentors: Martin Lammon and Susan Atefat (February 9, 2016 blog post). Varn was a student at Georgia College, earning his B.A. and MFA in the early 2000’s, who also lived and taught for three years in South Korea. Susan Atefat (Peckham), whose first book of poems That Kind of Sleep won the National Poetry Series award, joined the Georgia College MFA program faculty in 2002. In the winter of 2004, while on a Fulbright in Amman, Jordan, she AliceandSusanand her young son Cyrus were killed in a tragic car accident. The annual Arts & Letters-Susan Atefat Prize (for a creative nonfiction essay), endowed by Bahram and Fari Atefat, honors their daughter’s and and grandson’s memory. Long time Georgia College poet-in-residence, Alice Friman (also mentioned in Varn’s essay) writes about tragic loss and enduring memory in her moving essay “The Office,” which originally appeared in the Fall 2004 issue of Arts & Letters). Above: Alice and Susan at Georgia College in Milledgeville.

Miscellaneous Links

peggyandebertPoet Lore‘s “Editor’s Page” (Vol. 105, Number 1/2) comments upon Lammon’s poem “Bird Offering,” published in that issue. E. Ethelbert Miller co-edits Poet Lore, and was one of the first writers to encourage Martin Lammon to consider running for election to AWP board of directors (Lammon served on the board from 1998-2003, and two terms as President from 2000-2002). Miller’s contributions to literature, as a writer, editor, teacher, and arts advocate, inspired Lammon and many others (read Washington Post staff writer Linton Weeks’ retrospective on Miller’s life and career, which includes a quotation from Lammon about Miller’s influence). Above: Peggy Ann Tartt (winner of the 2001 Arts & Letters $1,000 Prize in Poetry) with final judge E. Ethelbert Miller.

What recent trends in American poetry do you find troubling or worrisome?”A Survey by Ray González (2004) in The Bloomsbury Review. Includes Lammon’s concern that some poets (so-called “New Formalists”) believe poetry must turn away from “free verse” and return to formal verse.

Inspired GAAfter living for 20 years in Georgia, and as the Fuller E. Callaway/Flannery O’Connor Chair in Creative Writing at Georgia College, Lammon has become a longtime supporter of UGA Press books. Two books are of special interest. Lammon praised After O’Connor: Stories from Contemporary Georgia (Ed. Hugh Ruppersburg, UGA Press, 2003; published in association with the Georgia Humanities Council), which includes stories by Alice Walker, Anthony Grooms, Ha Jin, Judith Ortiz Cofer, Judson Mitcham, Mary Hood, Sheri Joseph, Tina McElroy Ansa, and many other writers. And Lammon’s poem “What We Feel in Our Bones” was selected by Georgia Poet Laureate Judson Mitcham for Inspired Georgia (ed. Judson Mitcham, Michael David Murphy, and Karen L. Paty, UGA Press 2016; a copublication with Georgia Council for the Arts, exploring Georgia’s contemporary poets and photographers). Anyone interested in Georgia’s contemporary fiction, poetry, and photography should add both of these books to their libraries!

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