detail of painting from cover of Give My Love to Rose by Dwayne Brenna

How do you begin to write a poem?

Poems, for me, often begin with an image. For example, my poem “Warhol’s Elvis” was inspired by a walk through Chelsea, where I glimpsed an Andy Warhol original through the living room window of an opulent home. My musings on the nature of the owner and his/her relationship with the painting grew out of that image.

How do you begin to write a short story?

Many of my stories come from news articles or from events in my own life. I’m also frequently inspired by other writers to write something in their vein. For example, after reading “The Stone Mattress” by Margaret Atwood, I began to write my own short story “Isla Mujeres,” from the point of view of a female protagonist. Before I begin to write, I usually ask myself how I’m qualified to tell that particular story. What can I bring to it that another writer might not bring?

What is the correlation between literature and theatre in your work?

I believe that working in either medium makes me better at both. For example, I directed a production of Sara Ruhl’s beautiful play Eurydice shortly after publishing my first book of poetry. The play is very poetic, and it required a poetry of movement in production. I don’t think I could have directed it without first working as a poet.

Do you tour or give public readings?

Yes. Please contact me at the email address on the Contact page if you are interested in a public reading or a discussion of my work.