Tuesday Poem: Andy Fitch’s Sixty Morning Walks

A doctoral students in my shared office gave me a copy of one of Fitch’s ‘conversation’ poems that had been published in an anthropology journal. I have been trying to write a conversation poem for some time. Dialogue is challenging. Bad dialogue can easily expose the magic trick between language and experience. My long poems have a lot of dialogue, but the sections are always supported by other imagery. I want the real deal.

After reading Fitch’s conversation poem I discovered Sixty Morning Walks, a beautifully designed collection of poems created from his morning walks. The poems have the rhythm of a walk. They are part observation, and part the writer’s thoughts and feelings. With an anti-lyric bent, the poems (prose poems? short fiction? creative non-fiction? does it matter?) don’t ‘add up’ to anything more than his daily investigation of a city. They don’t turn on the last line and transform, as many lyric poems try to do. This is what I like about the poems: they aren’t trying to reveal a truth. As a collection though, I think they do this anyway, adding up to the experience of living in a city. I am interested in how he wrote these walks – from memory or recorded observations? I want to try something similar for my creative dissertation. This week, instead of a Tuesday Poem, I suggest a Tuesday walk:

Sixty Morning Walks

Fitch works at the University of Wyoming, and this is what his blurb says: “Andy recently completed a dissertation entitled “Pop Poetics: Between Lyric and Language.” He has taught at Hunter College and Brooklyn College. Ugly Duckling Presse has recently published his creative nonfiction volume Ten Walks/2 Talks. Editions Eclipse published his Sixty Morning Walks in 2008 In 2007, UbuWeb published an early version of his Conversations over Stolen Food Andy has also recently guest-edited a double-issue of the Belgium journal Interval(le)s.”

2 thoughts on “Tuesday Poem: Andy Fitch’s Sixty Morning Walks

  1. I’ve been thinking about this post, Sarah, ever since I read it last week. Lovely food for thought. I like the thing of poetry as narrative… letting it walk on rather than containing it inside a short and ordered form. Thank you.

  2. Thanks, Mary. I am trying to post things are the moment that are more than just poems — that talk about what poetry is, and what it can do. I suppose that is because I am thinking about it in terms of my own work, and trying to push it to new places.

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