“I think poetry, if it’s going to be really engaging and engaged, has to be able to come at the issues of our lives from all kinds of angles and all kinds of ways: loudly and quietly, angrily and soothingly, with comedy and with dead seriousness.”
– Tim Seibles
Jimi Hendrix rocks deep in the soul of Tim Seibles. Stretching the range of sonic expression – from rapturous bliss to raging sorrow, surprise and celebration to pointed protest – the guitarist unleashed a whole new vocabulary. In many ways, what Jimi did with sound Tim does with words. With near boundless imagination, keen imagery and intimate clarity, his poems jump genres and generations to wake us, shake us, and remind us of our common humanity.
Growing up in Philadelphia during the Civil Rights era, Tim juggled dreams of playing professional football with a passion for writing stories. In college, writing won out – and our world is all the better for it. Tracing his journey from wild youth to “newly minted senior citizen,” his featured book of poetry, “Voodoo Libretto,” is a bountiful collection of new and selected works from six earlier books spanning nearly 40 years. It’s a feast of vivid memories and evolving wisdom through the prism of family, race, place, passion, politics and religion. Though the path is his own, the road we well recognize – thanks to Tim’s sensitive gift of connection with the reader. Like Hendrix, whose name tops “Voodoo Libretto’s” dedication page, Tim can bend notes and strike chords like nobody’s business.
Revered teacher, speaker, and tireless advocate for the advancement of the written word, Tim is the former Poet Laureate of Virginia and is the author of seven collections of poetry, including "Fast Animal," which won the Theodore Roethke Memorial Poetry Prize, received the PEN Oakland Josephine Miles Award, and was one of five finalists for a 2012 National Book Award. His poems have been published in the Indiana Review, Black Renaissance Noire, Cortland Review, Ploughshares, Massachusetts Review, Beloit Poetry Journal, and numerous other literary journals and anthologies, including Best American Poetry. A former faculty member of Old Dominion University’s English Department and MFA in Creative Writing Program, Tim lives in Norfolk, Virginia, where he continues to teach for the Muse Community Writing Center.
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