Thomas Dooley Recommends...

“The balled up, impossible-to-unkink tangle of pain and joy that is family fuels a great deal of my writing. The great Polish poet Czeslaw Milosz reminds us: ‘When a writer is born into a family, that family is finished.’ I never want my writing to finish anything. Rather, I want it to start things.

Engage. Power conversations and questions. When I ignite the family drama in my poetry, I am aware of its ability to burn. That danger is exciting and terrifying for me—a challenge arises to see the poem form without censor, to be raw in the impulse to polish it down. When I am in the space where I truly feel vulnerable and surrender to the poem, the voice rises up.”
—Thomas Dooley, author of Trespass (Harper Perennial, 2014)

Photo credit: Noah Barker