Grant Clauser

Grant-ClauserPoetry craft essays editor Grant Clauser is the author of four poetry books, Necessary Myths (Broadkill River Press 2013) and The Trouble with Rivers (Foothills Publishing 2012), The Magician’s Handbook (PS Books, 2018) and Reckless Constellations (Cider Press Review Books, 2018).  In 2010 he was named the Montgomery County Poet Laureate by Robert Bly. In 2014 he was a guest poet at the Sharjah International Book Fair in the United Arab Emirates. Poems have appeared in The American Poetry ReviewThe Cortland Review, Gargoyle, The Literary Review, Painted Bride Quarterly, Southern Poetry Review, Tar River Poetry and others. He also writes about electronics, teaches poetry at random places and chases trout with a stick. His blog is www.uniambic.com. Email craft essay queries to grantclauser@cleavermagazine.com.


A Conversation with Ada Limon author of THE CARRYING, interview by Grant Clauser

A Conversation with Ada Limon author of THE CARRYING, interview by Grant Clauser
A Conversation with Ada Limon author of THE CARRYING published by Milkweed Editions Interview by Grant Clauser  Ada Limón is the author of several poetry books, including the National Book Award finalist Bright Dead Things, which was named one of the Top Ten Poetry Books of the Year by the New York Times. This year Limón released her fifth book, The Carrying, to wide acclaim, including being named a Best Book of Fall 2018 by Buzzfeed. Since the release of The Carrying, Limón has been traveling extensively for poetry events but was able to take some time out for Cleaver to discuss the new book and aspects of craft in her poetry. She lives in Lexington Kentucky. —Grant Clauser Grant Clauser: All of your books, including the new one, include some mix of past events and present. Does a certain amount of time/space between events and the writing about the events affect your approach to it? Ada Limón: Sometimes I write right in the white heat of the moment. Sometimes I need to do that just to work through what I’m trying to process. Other times I wait and need significant distance. Usually, the perspective changes with time. Writing about the present ...
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A Conversation with Nathaniel Popkin author of EVERYTHING IS BORROWED and Grant Clauser 

A Conversation with Nathaniel Popkin author of EVERYTHING IS BORROWED and Grant Clauser 
A Conversation with Nathaniel Popkin author of EVERYTHING IS BORROWED published by New Doors Books Interview by Grant Clauser  Nathaniel Popkin, Cleaver Magazine’s fiction reviews editor, published a new novel this year, Everything Is Borrowed (New Door Books). It draws deeply from his love of Philadelphia history and his passion for research, but is also a compelling story about one person’s obsessions and regrets. In addition to the new novel, he’s the editor of a new anthology, Who Will Speak for America, author of the novel Lion and Leopard, and three books of non-fiction, Philadelphia: Finding the Hidden City, Song of the City, and The Possible City. We recently asked Popkin to talk to us about Everything is Borrowed.—Grant Clauser Grant Clauser: In your new book, Everything is Borrowed, the city of Philadelphia is as much a character in the book as the people. How is infusing a city with personality different from developing a human character? Nathaniel Popkin: Novelists struggle to compose characters who are complex but also readable. That is, a character should not be so contradictory that she doesn’t make sense. A city, on the other hand, is intrinsically contradictory and almost impossible to figure. Its personality is ...
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I DON’T WORRY ABOUT LOOKING BACK A Conversation with Poet and Editor Grant Clauser

I DON'T WORRY ABOUT LOOKING BACK A Conversation with Poet and Editor Grant Clauser
I DON'T WORRY ABOUT LOOKING BACK A Conversation with Poet and Editor Grant Clauser Interview by Natalie Kawam On Cleaver’s five year anniversary, we continue to celebrate with interviews featuring our senior editors. Grant Clauser is the Poetry Craft Essay Editor for Cleaver, and he also reads poetry submissions. His most recent books are The Magician's Handbook, published by PS Books, and Reckless Constellations, winner of the Cider Press Review Book Prize. His poems have appeared in The American Poetry Review, Cortland Review, Painted Bride Quarterly, Tar River Poetry, and others. He runs workshops at Rosemont College’s Writer's Studio and can be found on Twitter via username @uniambic. He is also a home technology editor at Wirecutter. Natalie Kawam: When did you join Cleaver? Grant Clauser: A little more than a year ago. NK: How did you find out about it?  What do you like about it? GC: I knew that Karen Rile previously published a few of my poems, and we were connected through the Philadelphia literary scene.  She was looking for someone to help write and recruit writers for craft essays, and reading poetry submissions.  I like doing those things. So, I volunteered. NK: Why do you ...
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Grant Clauser interviews poet JERICHO BROWN

Grant Clauser interviews poet JERICHO BROWN
Everything Has to Come Through You A Conversation with poet Jericho Brown Author of PLEASE and THE NEW TESTAMENT Interview by Grant Clauser Jericho Brown, author of the prize-winning poetry collections Please and The New Testament, visited Bucks County Community College in September to give a reading. This interview was conducted at a picnic table outside the school's auditorium building prior to the reading. Brown, who teaches creative writing at Emory University, has received numerous awards for his poetry including the Whiting Writers Award and the American Book Award. He's received fellowships from the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study and the National Endowment for the Arts. He was recently named poetry editor of The Believer. His poems are widely published in journals such as The American Poetry Review, The Nation and The New Yorker. Grant Clauser: One thing I feel in your poems is a constant sense of motion—how they shift and pivot, like they're running an obstacle course to get to something. I see that in the poems “Football Season” and others. Is that movement effect a conscious technique aim for or a expression of how you work through the poem on the page? Jericho Brown: I think it's ...
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DON’T BE A DRONE: Manipulating the Reader Through Pitch and Pace, A Poetry Craft Essay by Grant Clauser

DON'T BE A DRONE: Manipulating the Reader Through Pitch and Pace, A Poetry Craft Essay by Grant Clauser
DON'T BE A DRONE Manipulating the Reader Through Pitch and Pace A Poetry Craft Essay by Grant Clauser Pacing in poetry can be used as a focusing technique. Both fast and slow pace equally have the ability to draw in a reader’s focus in slightly different, but complementary, ways. A sudden shift into high gear can raise our excitement or anxiety, while hitting the slow motion button compels us to look with greater scrutiny and concentration. Either way, pace is a kind of volume adjustment–by turning the volume of the poem up or down you force a shift of attention upon the reader. Try this experiment–recite the alphabet out loud. First, start out slowly. Then speed up. As your recitation gets faster, your voice will involuntarily rise in volume. If you do the opposite, start fast and end slow, your volume will decrease. I’ve actually tried this experiment with my kids using a sound pressure meter, and their voices changed by a few decibels. Both shifts cause the listener to adjust their attention. The first causes the listener to sit up straight, triggered by the excitement of the louder voice. The second causes the listener to lean forward, paying extra ...
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THE MAGICIAN CONSIDERS HIS AUDIENCE by Grant Clauser

White Pigeon Flying
THE MAGICIAN CONSIDERS HIS AUDIENCE by Grant Clauser The first is always family, living room arranged around the coffee table and a Mickey Mouse Magic kit hidden behind the La-Z-Boy. Handkerchiefs produce silk flowers. Three balanced balls become two, become one, then melt into the darkness of a palm, a pocket. Later counting the eyes in a night club, a firehall, the late-night train ride home— he learns to study the difference between paying attention and real scrutiny— the ones who want to see through the darkness are the enemy. The others, for whom the darkness is the comfort of sleep, something you trust to hold you through silence and doubt— those are like his interchangeable pigeons all cooing the same infuriating note.  Grant Clauser is the author of the books Necessary Myths and The Trouble with Rivers. Poems have appeared in The Literary Review, Painted Bride Quarterly, Cortland Review, American Poetry Review, Sow’s Ear Poetry Review and others. In 2010 he was Montgomery County Poet Laureate. By day he writes about electronics and daydreams about fly fishing. He runs workshops at Musehouse and other writing conferences and runs the blog www.unIambic.com ...
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