Poet of the Month: Seaborn Jones


Seaborn JonesSeaborn Jones has published two books of poetry, the most recent Lost Keys (1996, Snake Nation Press), and three chapbooks, the most recent Getaway Car in Reverse (2006, Steam Iron Press). His poems have appeared in the New York Quarterly, Southern Poetry Review, River Styx, Poetry NZ, Rockhurst Review, J Journal, and numerous other journals. His awards include:  Georgia Author of the Year in poetry (1998), Alan Collins Scholar in Poetry, Bread Loaf Writer’s Conference (1991) two Individual Artist Awards in Poetry from the Georgia Council for the Arts (1985 and 1989) and the Violet Reed Haas Poetry Prize (1996).

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Roethke said a poem began for him “with a mood or a phrase.”  That’s the way it seems to work for me. My poems are architectural; I write down the mood or phrase in a notebook and build on it. Some poems seem to just roll out with no effort. I can only assume that these poems have been incubating in my unconscious and have percolated to the conscious. Everything requires rewriting.

I lean more toward Democritus’ view that poetry is “traced to the poet’s invocation with the Muse” than Pindar’s view that “poetry is an acquired skill.” My problem is that I don’t know where my Muse is half the time. It’s like being married to someone who says she’s going to the store, then disappears for days only to return with no explanation, then wanders off again.

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