This week, Backstage begins a new series focusing on poets living and working in Milwaukee. What makes a writer a poet, and what parameters define a poem? As Mark talks to former poet laureates, spoken word performers, humorists and musicians, he finds that such things are not so easily defined.
We begin the series with Jennifer L. Knox, a former Milwaukeean now transplanted to New York City. Knox is the author of several poetry anthologies; Drunk by Noon, A Gringo Like Me, and the upcoming The Mystery of the Hidden Driveway. She brings a hard-boiled sense of humor to her work that is sometimes brash and maybe even a bit crude, but nothing short of entertaining.
Mark and Jennifer discuss the mechanics of poetry, humor as a form of subversion in the literary form and how to make a career out of poetry.
“I had a student ask me once, ‘How do you make a living as a poet?’, ” Knox says. “I told him, ‘That’s like asking how you make money as a nun.'”
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