Denver Weekend At Bernie’s

December 11, 2011 by staff 

Denver Weekend At Bernie’s, Reading through Joshua Ware’s poetry gives a fairly accurate portrait of the man: uncommonly witty, fascinated with language and form and unabashedly unconventional. Currently in the English Ph.D. program at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Ware has authored the poetry chapbooks “Excavations” and “A Series of Ad Hoc Permutations,” and coauthored “I, NE: Iterations of the Junco.”

Next week, Ware will be moving to Denver, Colo., and amid finishing his dissertation and applying for tenure-track teaching positions, Ware spoke about some of the early lessons in becoming a published writer.

First of those, he said, is to not worry about becoming a published writer.

“Sometimes it can bedevil you a little bit,” Ware said about the publishing industry. “You should always just write what you feel you need to write.”

More important than publishing, Ware says, is finding a strong community.

“One of the great moments of being here is developing a community of writers,” Ware said. “Who are both good writers in and of themselves, but are also interested in, for one, my work, but also in collaborating. Those are things that I never really had before. And there’s some great writers here.”

Ware brings a unique eye to the poetry world, often manipulating forms as diverse as SONY MC-90 cassette tapes, calendars, diagrams and graphs. Many incorporate their own explanatory notes into the poetry, adding layers and angles that Ware says come naturally.

“If you’re not doing something that can be turned into a poem, why do it?” Ware said. “And I think that’s maybe the difference between being a poet and being somebody else. A poet’s going to be looking at the world in a particular way and will try to take all of the things around them, and ostensibly turn them into poems. Whether that be in a very literal way or more of a figurative way.”

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