Clifton Snider, poet


My new book of poems, The Beatle Bump, is now available from Los Nietos Press. It is my first collection of poems since the publication of Moonman: New and Selected Poems, (World Parade Books).  Read my web page on Moonman. And read new translations of my poems in Spanish and Arabic (“St. Anthony’s Church,” also “Before I Go”).

Regarding American poetry there are several ironies. Probably more poetry is being published today than at any other time, thanks to little magazines and the Internet, yet my guess is there are fewer readers of poetry, apart from rare popular poets. Another related irony is that to say something one sees or hears is poetry or that a speaker is a poet is considered a high compliment, yet most people who say this I dare say do not read contemporary poetry. Of course I could be wrong. My observations are based on years of experience as a college and university teacher of poetry (both as literature and in poetry workshops), a critic and scholar, and an avid follower of the news.

Be that as it may, I still consider poetry the highest form of writing, the most satisfactory to write and to read, at its best. For me when it flows, it is the most pleasurable to write as well, and I will be happy to be remembered as a poet above all else. As I say on my page on the website for the Arts Council of Long Beach, poetry is my first love. I write because I must, poetry or prose.

I published my first poem in 1969 in a literary magazine called Gambit, published by the English Department at Cal State Long Beach, where I was a student. Although it was a thrilling experience, I do not think much of the poem now. I was a late bloomer and did not publish my first chapbook, Jesse Comes Back, till 1976.

Among the many highlights in my career as a poet and writer was the premier production of OUT Theater, Long Beach, CA, in the fall of 1986, of a script based on my book, Edwin: A Character in Poems, and my one-act play, A Little Get-Together. The director and scriptwriter, John Traub, had three women all dress in the same red and black flannel shirts and jeans (the gay male drag of the era), like the male mannequin on stage. Needless to say, I attended all three nights and the rehearsal.

I have been fortunate to have been awarded residence fellowships at Yaddo, Saratoga Springs, NY; the Karolyi Foundation, Vence, France; and The Helene Wurlitzer Foundation of New Mexico, Taos.

The links below will take you to more information about my poetry books and to links for poems available online.

Clifton Snider, Poet

The Age of the Mother

The Alchemy of Opposites

Aspens in the Wind

St. Anthony’s Church


Ode to the Banana Slug


Above left: reading at Half-Off Books, Whittier, California, 18 November 2016, photo by Sarah Tatro; middle, cover of Moonman, by Chan Plett; right, cover of The Beatle Bump by Roy Anthony Shabla.

Readings on Youtube: 11 September 2001

so We Marched                                      HumP READING, PART 1

For Lance Loud                                      hump reading, part 2

DANCER FROM THE DANCE                       hump reading, part 3

John Waters                                          hump reading, part 4

Reading with Robbie Fitzsimmons of Ellyn & Robbie

Moonman                                               ORLANDO

For W. H. Auden                                      Morning star


See home page for links to other readings.

page last revised: 26 JANUARY 2017

--Copyright Clifton Snider, 2017. All rights reserved.

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