Monday, November 16, 2015

Between the Lines: Poet Traci Brimhall

by Zinta Aistars
for WMUK 102.1 FM
Southwest Michigan's NPR affiliate

Between the Lines is my weekly radio show about books and writers with a Michigan connection. It airs every Tuesday at 7:50 a.m., 11:55 a.m., and 4:20 p.m. (or listen anytime online), on WMUK 102.1 FM, Southwest Michigan's NPR affiliate. I am the host of Between the Lines.

This week's guest: Traci Brimhall

Traci Brimhall

Poet Traci Brimhall is well known and much loved in Kalamazoo’s literary community. One of the reasons her readers seem so drawn to her work is that she has the courage to say what others think but keep to themselves. “I like to be brave with poems,” says Brimhall. “I like to be brave when I sit down to write, and, occasionally, I like to do something brave at a reading, which is what I hope to do when I return to Kalamazoo.”

Brimhall, along with poets Adam Pasen and Heather A. Slomski, will read as part of the Gwen Frostic Series on Thursday, November 19, at 8 p.m. at Western Michigan University’s Bernhard Center, in rooms 157-159. The event is free and open to the public.
“Recently I started a Google group for people who want to write one brave poem a month,” Brimhall says. “We would share with each other the bravest thing we could think to say. Sometimes it’s the only poem I get to write all month…I try to confront something in myself and/or something in the world when I sit down to write.”
Brimhall says writing with courage is how she pushes herself forward as a poet. What that brave thing is can change with every day and every moment. “There are things you don’t want to admit that aren’t popular or kind to say about yourself, or aren’t good to say about the way you feel about your family or your spouse or what you do for a living. There can be things you don’t want to confront. The bravest poem I wrote most recently dealt with ...

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