Two More Poems for National Poetry Month

In a previous blog post, I mentioned that I had a chance to pick the poems of the week for TheThePoetry blog. I meant to repost links to the poems on here each week, but due to my schedule of readings and work load, I didn’t have a chance yet to post the last two poems for the month.

Here is a link to Jeff Rath’s poem “On This Side,” and here is a link to Amanda J. Bradley’s poem, “Swallowed Whole.”

I hope that National Poetry Month was productive for the writers and led to the creation of new drafts or revisions of old poems. Keep reading and keep writing!

Poems of the Week

During the month of April, I’ve been asked to select poems of the week for TheThePoetry blog, and doing so has been an honor and treat so far. As a way to celebrate National Poetry Month, I’ll post my selections here. All of the selections I’ve made so far are by poets whose work I deeply admire and poets who have been supportive of me in my career as a poet.

The first selection, which ran last week, is the poem “Bliss” by Christine Gelineau, which you can read here. The most recent poem of the week is “Watching the Pelican Die” by Maria Mazziotti Gillan, which you can read here. I am lucky and fortunate enough to know both poets. Christine was one of my mentors during my time spent completing my M.F.A. at Wilkes University, and Maria is currently one of my professors in my Ph.D. program at SUNY Binghamton. Both poets are strong supporters of their students and wonderful writers. I hope you enjoy ther work.

The website also just published an interview with Maria, some of which I want to quote here as a way to think about poetry, especially the narrative form that she and I use most often.

In regards to the narrative form, she says, “My vision of poetry is that it should be based on some essential truth about what it means to be human and I think narrative poetry gets at those truths more directly and effectively than many other types of poetry. I want to give people permission to tell their own stories and to look at the world unflinchingly through the their own eyes rather than worrying about what critics or literary theorists say about writing. Like Faulkner, I believe literature is about the truths of the human heart and not about intellectual analysis.”

Later in the interview, she says of the writing process, “I think it is unfortunate that so much of our education trains us to subdue all that is wild and primitive and honest inside ourselves and in our writing. I think that we have to be willing to let go, to ignore our intellect and allow instinct to take over. In revision, we can use our intellects, but in writing the poem we need to believe that this instinctive voice knows what we need to write and as soon as we look that very middle-class,suburban inside voice, we lose the energy and vitality in our work. Even in revision, we have to be careful, to prune the work with delicate hands.”


Enjoy the poems and enjoy the interview!


New Review/New Poems

TheThePoetry has posted a new review of my collection All That Remains written by Scott Thomas. In the review, Thomas writes, “Fanelli’s work is approachable. He does not brandish his technical prowess with intimidating sestinas. There is no pandering to theory, nor does he flaunt his erudition by quoting obscure thinkers or having his characters speak in Latin. (Though there are some well-placed references to Bob Dylan and horror movies.) What we do find are rusting towns and their hard-working denizens, whose horizons are limited through no fault of their own. We also catch moments of tenderness and regret and glimpses of youth with chances seized or lost.”

He concludes the review with the line, “Fanelli writes about fates that he himself has escaped, but he is unwilling to turn his back, to say: ‘I’m out of here. You’re on your own.’”

If you haven’t checked out TheThePoetry, I suggest bookmarking it and visiting frequently. They run several reviews a month, as well as interviews, essays, and spotlights on different poetry communities across the nation.

In addition, I have three new poems in the new issue of Fledging Rag, which is only available in print through Iris G. Press. The issue is impressive and features a wide range of forms and voices, including three poems by my friend and fellow Wilkes M.F.A. alum Chris Bullard.