Friday, October 13, 2017

David Biespiel's "The Education of a Young Poet"

David Biespiel was born in 1964 and grew up in Houston, Texas.  He is a poet, literary critic, columnist, and contributing writer at The Rumpus, American Poetry ReviewPolitico, New RepublicPartisan, Slate, Poetry, and The New York Times, among other publications.

He is the author of ten books, most recently The Education of a Young PoetA Long High Whistle, which received the 2016 Oregon Book Award for General Nonfiction, and The Book of Men and Women, which was chosen one of the Best Books of the Year by the Poetry Foundation and received the 2011 Oregon Book Award for Poetry.

Biespiel applied the “Page 99 Test” to The Education of a Young Poet and reported the following:
From page 99:
For a short time the summer before my senior year in college, I had nowhere to go but Houston. So I moved back in with my mother. The last place I wanted to be was in my old neighborhood of Meyerland, even for a few weeks. I had been living in Boston, and I was different now. To return home seemed like a defeat.

I had always seen Meyerland as an idyllic area of southwest Houston with its cozy, mid-century Tudor and colonial ranch houses. In August the wide roads and trim lawns had settled low against a tall sky. Now, after living in Boston, I couldn’t see it at all anymore. Driving down Chimney Rock Road with the bulbous trees heavy under the long, humid skies was like a familiar dream. I did it without looking, without interest. I could only remember my childhood there but could not see who I was even in so familiar a place.
I’m not sure this passes the Page 99 Test. Though, interestingly, it does pass the test for the book I’m currently writing.
Visit David Biespiel's website.

Writers Read: David Biespiel.

--Marshal Zeringue