Chad Davidson is the author of Consolation Miracle (Southern Illinois UP, 2003),
winner of the Crab Orchard Prize in Poetry. His second book, The Last Predicta, is forthcoming from
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believe its out there, some definition of my poetics, lurking in some pine-infested
corner of the
Whatever my poetics are, they change constantly, elude me when Im close to a sighting. When I studied with B. H. Fairchild, I fell in love with local restorations, summoning from the local the mythic, the memorable. Bodying forth experience, he used to sayor at least I remember his saying something to that effectwas the poets craft. I began my apprenticeship rooted in the material realities of experience.
When I studied with Bruce Bond, my poems became tighter, more compressed. They were nuclear, or so it seemed to me after Bond whittled down my poems to pseudo-haiku. At that time I would have said something like poetics of violent erasure, as Bond taught me the value of close inspection of experience both without and within the page.
Working with John Poch, I began to trust myself more, take more risks, become less conscious of the moves I made within poems. My first collection and most of my second revolve around greater linguistic experimentation, greater freedoms in terms of logical cohesion. Lets call that a poetics of linguistic optimism. I wrote a lot and discarded more.
Since then, in my constant dialogue with Greg Fraser, my poems have become more careful, tending less toward difficult leaps of logic and more toward precision of imagery and contextual considerations of history and trauma. Seems Ive constantly been in restless shuttling between Fairchilds expansiveness and Bonds careful lyric machinery, in chasing a poetics that appears constantly out of reach. Lets call it, Bigfoot Poetics, the sort of poetics as comfortable among the supper talk of cryptozoologists as it is among the pages of supermarket tabloids.
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