“Daniel Roy Connelly is one of the most strikingly original poets I’ve heard in a while – witty, keenly insightful, with a droll, pitch-perfect sense of timing, his poems feel like a refreshing wake-up call.”
Naomi Shihab Nye
Thanks for coming to read some of my published poetry. As their seems little point in a category for work published prior to 2013, there being only one piece, a prose poem from 2000, it tops instead the 2013 stream. The journal that took ‘Snugsabugnarug’s Return’ – which came out of a writing seminar with Alan Zeigler at Columbia – contained new work from no lesser luminaries than Ruth Padel, Tracey Herd, John Burnside, Brian Johnstone and Allen Warner. In their editorial, the publishers told readers my voice boded well for the future of poetry.
Future, however, does not mean the next day. Or year. Or decade. Between 2000 and 2013 I was admittedly in submission-light mode, but still sent snail mail 50 or so poems a year from among the 500 I compiled during this time. Into the void. Zip. Nada.
In March 2013 an unexplained natural tremor saw me embark on an intense period of writing which will continue beyond this post; since then 1,200 poems and counting. My first acceptance came immediately from Colin Will at ‘The Open Mouse’; my first in 12 years. Within six months, another seventeen had been snapped up to no great fanfare by a broad collective of editors. I’ve since published around 100 pieces online and in print journals. On the way, I’ve read at The Troubadour and The LRB bookstore, in Fermoy and Galway and on beautiful terraces in Rome.
While I’m sure my boding days are done, the future won’t stop coming. Mark Twain said that a professional writer is an amateur writer who never gave up. I’ve come to understand that professional – particularly in poetry – has no connection to income. Rather, assiduous obsessions carried out in trances, the terror of falling silent, the unstoppable drive to represent that which feels permanently out of control. Professional, then, through epiphany and process, the 5% / 95% split; through diligence bordering on despotic. This be the branch I cling to during life’s Niagara slide.
Before you begin:
I am not I
I am language trailing in someone’s air,
stories I’ve heard or’ve had happen,
stepping in and out of street folk at will,
I might means I might not – remember
a churning of sounds from somewhere
then rhythm into word is as far as I’d go
with working out the kind of I I am. I
am also in a dozen other heads completely.
I bear several loads equally, discretely.