Poet David Sanders Describes Creative Process, New Book

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Athens poet David Sanders has just released a new collection of poems titled Compass and Clock, published by Swallow Press of Ohio University Press.

It is a collection of poetry written by Sanders over about a 30 year period and selected specifically for this new work. The poems are different styles but all give insights into the poet and his creative processes.

Sanders considers himself more of a formalist poet instead of writing free verse yet his formalism does not get in his way or dilute his deftness of language.

James Cummins, a reviewer of Sanders’ new collection, said: “Sanders is a truly talented and subtle formal poet, but his formal hand is never heavy and almost always transparent…This is mature, complete work, the like of which are rare.  At their best, his poems remind us of Frost’s maxim, that a poem is a stay against confusion.”

During his conversation with WOUB’s Tom Hodson, Sanders read three of his poems, all with different styles and different approaches to recollections and remembrances.

Sanders also shared his creative process and described how his poetry goes from a germ of an idea to fully developed verse.

Currently, Sanders is a full-time faculty member in the English Department of Ohio University. From 1996 to 2010, he was the director of the Ohio University Press and from 1992 to 1996 he led the Purdue University Press.

Prior to that time, he held several positions, including editor-in-chief of the University of Arkansas Press and owned a bookstore in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

Sanders is the general editor of the Hollis Summers Poetry Prize and the founding editor of Poetry News in Review.

Sanders will be giving a reading of his new collection at Ohio University Chillicothe’s Stevenson Center on Saturday, April 9 at 1:15 p.m. as part of the closing celebration for an art exhibit by painter Alan Gough and family.

Compass & Clock cover