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Bryan Borland is a Pushcart-nominated poet from Little Rock, Arkansas, and the owner of Sibling Rivalry Press, LLC, a young publishing house whose goal is to develop, promote, and market underground artistic talent – those who don’t quite fit into the mainstream. As a poet, Bryan writes primarily narrative poems that create portraits of moments through words. Whether chronicling old friends and lovers in his “Book of” series (“Book of David,” Book of Cody,” “Book of Dmitri,” etc.) or inviting us into his family through poems like “Sons of Abraham” and “Supper,” Bryan seeks to poetically etch tally marks into the walls of life; to, in essence, prove he’s been here. His first book of poetry, My Life as Adam, is a potent cocktail of family life, religion, and sexuality, the three pillars of Southern life. A second book, The Hanky Code, is a collaboration with poet Stephen S. Mills that will be published by Lethe Press in 2011. In it, Borland and Mills explore the spectrum of modern day homosexuality through the colors of the old handkerchief code, a communication tool used by men in the days before the Internet to attract partners for specific sexual activities. Also in the works is the project closest to Borland’s heart, a book titled Less Fortunate Pirates: Poems from the First Year Without My Father. Through Sibling Rivalry Press, Borland has also worn the editor’s hat, putting together a short collection called Fag Hag – A Scandalous Chapbook of Fabulously-Codependent Poetry as well as Ganymede Unfinished, a tribute to the late John Stahle and his beautiful journal Ganymede that features the work of poets Jee Leong Koh, Jeff Mann, Matthew Hittinger, writers Charlie Vázquez, Perry Brass, and Scott Hess, artist Seth Ruggles Hiler, and photographer Eric Davis, among others. A self-taught poet, Borland has studied the works of Plath, Angelou, and Whitman outside of a formal classroom, though he did earn a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Hendrix College. He is an advocate for self-publishing, his philosophy adapted from working with John Stahle, who championed the method. He doesn’t mind, and, in fact, embraces being labeled a gay poet. As Philip F. Clark wrote to Borland while editing My Life as Adam, “Someone out there is waiting to read you. Write for yourself, but write for him, too.”
North Little Rock, AR
I am interested in where lyric and narrative intersect, in working with the strengths in each of these forms. I am interested in white space and line breaks, in the way silence creates room in which words collide and ricochet. I am interested in the kind of tension that can be made visually and linguistically with letters placed on the page. And I am interested in sound, in how the repetition of sounds creates density and intensity within lines, stanzas, and entire poems.