For sixteen years now, Chicago had given Kendall the benefit of the doubt. It had welcomed him when he arrived with his “song cycle” of poems composed at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. It had been impressed with his medley of high-I.Q. jobs the first years out: proofreader for The Baffler; Latin instructor at the Latin School. For someone in his early twenties to have graduated summa cum laude from Amherst, to have been given a Michener grant, and to have published, one year out of Iowa City, an unremittingly bleak villanelle in the T.L.S., all these things were marks of promise, back then. If Chicago had begun to doubt Kendall’s intelligence when he turned thirty, he hadn’t noticed. He worked as an editor at a small publishing house, Great Experiment, which published five titles per year.Take note, but, given what ultimately happens to this protagonist, do not emulate!
Great post from Mark Sarvas yesterday (does he ever post something that's not great?) on Edward Hirsch (and, unsurprisingly, poetry).
And take a moment to read these reflections from Tayari Jones on the enthusiasm and energy of the early emerging writer.