Sheet Music

I’m thrilled to announce that Sheet Music, a new chapbook of my poems, will be published by Three Bee Press, a brand-spanking-new startup press in Detroit this fall. Sheet Music will be the first book published and printed by Three Bee. Stay tuned for more information and a link to the press’s website when it is… More Sheet Music

Our Sudden Flight

After a few years on and off of deep revision and submissions, and some very close calls with some great publishers of late, I am pleased to announce that the manuscript for my third full-length collection, Our Sudden Museum, featuring a decade’s worth of poems, old and new, was accepted for publication today by Salmon… More Our Sudden Flight

A Prayer to Disappear

Is it wind or weathervane I want from words, from words arranged in what I might call a poem? Is it that ornate, classic, squeaky copper arrow atop the roof I want? Or the invisible sensation, the current—to know its direction and speed from how it reaches, how it caresses my flesh. And then is it even wind… More A Prayer to Disappear

To the Hours

It is impossible to get my eyes around early Autumn. Try as I may, I can’t sink the beauty of it in me. It remains buoyant and bobbing and gold. Blatant. But the trees are undressing. I am voyeur. October is busy at prayer and wants me to know it. I can’t afford its light. I… More To the Hours

House Under Construction

You step out your door for a moment to go to the mailbox, and boom. Your sturdy house that one moment ago was right there, is gone in a poof, as if zapped by a miles-high, space invader somewhere above the clouds. So it feels sometimes for the poet whose manuscript has been rejected by a… More House Under Construction

Winter Mind

Often in winter, the first stanza of Wallace Stevens’s terrific poem, “The Snow Man” pops into my head. “One must have a mind of winter / To regard the frost and the boughs / Of the pine-trees crusted with snow…” So today I revisited the poem and it was wonderful to hold this perfectly packed… More Winter Mind

Mellow Fruitfulness

Here in mid-Michigan, it’s been the Autumn of Keats’s Ode: o’erladen, oozing, mellow-misted. On several occasions, running through Island Park, I’ve stopped because I’ve had to, just to take it in, the blaze of reds and golds, the swirling-down leaves, the leaves riding the back of the Chippewa River, so much deep blue sky, and… More Mellow Fruitfulness

Poem of the Day: 5/22/23

OK, I know there’s a practical template for the poet vs. editor poem, or the poet-writing-in-the -form of a rejection letter poem. It can be a bit tiresome. This could be it’s own sub-genre, or could certainly warrant an anthology. However, every once in a while I come across one of these vindictive little revenge… More Poem of the Day: 5/22/23

Horizons

Thanks to all who came out to the reading at Alma College last week, especially to my students and colleagues who drove down from Mount Pleasant. I read with Chris Dombrowski, who read from his terrific book Earth Again. John Rybicki hosted the reading and the Alma Library was packed; it felt so good to… More Horizons

The Fingering Air

In my most recent manuscript, Our Sudden Museum, there is a poem entitled “What is Written on the Leaves.” I wrote that poem in Deerfield Park, here in Mount Pleasant, Michigan, in October a few years ago, on a bench under a maple, surrounded by a blanket of leaves, in a place so quiet I… More The Fingering Air

Arranging the Manuscript

How does a poet assemble their manuscript? By going to a yoga studio and doing the Downward Facing Poet. Here is Robert Fanning immersed in arranging one of his new manuscripts, entitled OUR SUDDEN MUSEUM.

Is All We Need

I don’t like most holidays–days that line us up like children and make us have the same answer, the same expression, that make us color with the same crayons the same shape the same emotion, and worse: that pressure us to express ourselves with the contents of our wallets. Fucking Scrooge, I know. But yeah,… More Is All We Need

Poem of the Day: 1/28/13

Matthew Olzmann, whose first book Mezzanines arrives this April from Alice James Books, is a master of humor, surprise, and heart. I’ll never forget seeing Matthew read, well, perform, that first time in Detroit, several years ago, how stunned I was hearing his poems unfold. His ability to alter the reader’s perspective, to balance hilarity… More Poem of the Day: 1/28/13