GTimothy Gordon is an American poet, who divides his personal and professional lives between Asia and the Desert/Mountain Southwest. Gordon’s seventh collection, FROM FALLING, was published in April 2017 (Spirit-of-the-Ram P).
His work has appeared in journals such as AGNI, CINCINNATI POETRY R, KANSAS Q, LOUISVILLE R, MISSISSIPPI R, NEW YORK Q, RHINO, SONORA R, BASEBALL BARD, among others. He holds NEA and NEH Fellowships, and has been nominated for four Pushcart awards, as well as the NEA’s Western States’ Book Awards.
As part of our spotlight, we were fortunate enough to be able to put some questions to him regarding his influences, his style, and his take on the contemporary attitude towards the aesthetic in literature.
The Composite Review [CR]: What are the most significant influences on your style? Which poets do you read or admire above others?
GTimothy Gordon [GG]: My preferences (for wont of the more profound signifier, “influences”) for poets are eclectic and wide-ranging (from most Anglo-British & European Romantics, especially Proust, Rilke, Goethe, K. Gibran, WW, Keats, STC [even Shelley, a late guilty pleasure], Yeats, Joyce, D. Thomas, Heaney, Whitman, W. Stevens, Roethke, J. Wright, Brodsky, Milosz, Akhmatova, Neruda, Paz to the great Chinese/Japanese [Du Fu, Li Bai, Wang Wei, Bashō], and so many, many more traditionalists who educated me. More contemporary—W.C. Williams, A. Dillard, L. Glück, M. Oliver—among too many other significant experiential, un-academic voices and visions.
CR: What are your aims as a writer and a poet? Do you have any specific artistic concerns that you seek to address through your work?
GG: I have no particular poetic agenda, but have always preferred in my appreciation and reading (not necessarily in practice) Greek-like irony in prose and drama, lyricism in voice, intellectual and/or sensory/sensual evocations, the enigmatic mystery of the inward life when, as Roethke puts it, “all interiors call.” (Or for R. Frost, outer weather [i.e., Nature] heralding interiority.) As to my non-existent aesthetic , let me plagiarize myself: I subscribe to the Werner von Braun “Aesthetic”: I just send ‘em up; where they land, it’s not my problem.
CR: Outside of your own work, what is your position on the aesthetic in contemporary literature?
GG: The current “aesthetic” or anti-aesthetic scene I find beguiling because it’s so diverse (especially in online blogs and journals, with quite personal langwige [no codes and no subtexts] and activities , just in-your-face stuff-stuff probably spun-off from so much cyberspatial visual and minimalist conversation in 140 or less [many poems even about banalities, but that’s probably the point for post-millennial global Kulture); it seems everything, and nothing, is up for grabs like pop music (candy and hip-hop and “arty”), lyrics I find even more relevant than traditional academic verse I have trouble reading anymore. (But, as they say, that’s on me, not necessarily the writers.) Poetry for W. Stevens is “the supreme fiction”; that may be just as true seen in another light by today’s non-existent standards— and perhaps a good thing since it opens up the possibilities of fresh language and newer voices largely excluded from what was once an exclusively a patrician and “serious” bourgeois canon.
Tim has published five poems exclusively with The Composite Review, and you can read them by following the links below or by navigating to the ‘Original Poetry’ category on the menu above.