Month: May 2014

When You’re Somewhere in the Middle: A Review of Jim Gavin’s “Middle Men”


Nobody dreams about selling toilets when they grow up. It’s something that happens because something else didn’t happen—at least that’s what the young characters in Jim Gavin’s Middle Men might believe. Most of Gavin’s male protagonists are trying to do something, whether the goal is to get a basketball scholarship, find the girl that left, or just get a laugh or two at open mic night. Gavin’s characters are destined to come up short.

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Shipley Says


Some of the best advice I’ve gotten lately about revising for publication came from a poet.

This outstanding advice, knowledge, and wisdom was bestowed like gift to me by Vivian Shipley during her lecture at the 3rd Annual Writer’s Weekend at The Mark Twain House in Hartford, CT. Shipley, a professor at Southern Connecticut State University, holds a PhD from Vanderbilt, has won many poetry prizes and literary awards including the Robert Frost Foundation Poetry Prize, the Ann Stanford Poetry Prize from the University of Southern California, and the Marble Faun Poetry Prize from the William Faulkner Society. Her most recent book of poetry is called All of Your Messages Have Been Erased. She is an editor, a scholar, and a giver of insight.

I will try my best to share, with all deference to Ms. Shipley, and Mark Twain himself, a distillation of some of the finer points of the hows and whys of editing and refining your work for publication. Something I will call:  Shipley Says: A craft workshop in five stanzas.

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