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Poet reads from new book

Anne Arnason | Thursday, September 19, 2013

 

The Notre Dame Creative Writing Program hosted poet Daniel Tobin as he read from his new book “The Net” at the Hammes Notre Dame Bookstore on Thursday night. Tobin has written five books of his own poems and has also edited a variety of other poets’ work, including an Anthology of Irish American poets published by the Notre Dame Press. 

Tobin said his new poems approach the serious issues of life, such as the grief that comes with the loss of children. 

“[The Net] is a bit more philosophical and more urgently metaphysical … it’s not that dimension hasn’t been there but I think it is more forcefully there,” Tobin said. 

Tobin said he hopes his poetry challenges his readers.

“I’m a person who wants poetry to find a way into the urgent matters of why we’re alive and still at the same time be open to other people and other people’s experiences,” he said. “I want it to be readable but I also want it to be emotionally challenging.” 

Tobin said he began writing poetry during high school, but it wasn’t until his senior year of college when he found a community of people who pushed him to become the poet he is today. 

“It took a long time to move from the original impetus of wanting to write poems that matter to get to the maturity to begin to write poems that had some artistic integrity to them,” Tobin said. 

Tobin said he uses a variety of poetic structures, one of the most distinctive being the paradelle. The paradelle developed as a joke form by poet Billy Collins, and Tobin said he strove to create a poem using this structure that actually worked as a legitimate literary work. He did this in his poem, “Prayer,” he said.  

Tobin said the poetic ability to experiment with different literary forms, such as creating a legitimate poem in a joke form, comes from many years of hard work. 

“I think what one needs to have is great, great persistence for the work and secondarily for getting it out there,” he said “You have to be persistent in both cases.”