Thursday, April 16, 2009

#163 The Fighting Poems of Paul Long

Paul Long was born in Cleveland, OH, and had a hectic childhood. The family moved often and Paul has lived in 10 different states including OH, MI, CT, MD, TN, MA, NC, VA, NY, and RI. It was difficult to keep moving and keep losing friends. It was difficult to keep trying to make new friends. A lot of times, Paul ate lunch alone. Writing became a release for him, creating a new world inside the one he lived in (when Paul was 8, somebody told him that he couldn’t write, as if it was illegal, and that’s when he decided to keep writing). In high school, Paul was the captain of the swim team and now he misses swimming, the discipline of getting up early in the morning and jumping into the water when it was cold, the back and forth of it. In college, Paul studied English and started writing stories with/for his best friend. They would sit in the library and create crazy stories that were often inspired by Grateful Dead songs. In graduate school, Paul met his wife, Kris, at Brown University, where they both received their MFAs. Kris is a playwright. Paul loves her stories and her smile. For now, Paul and Kris are living in MD, with their two Shitz Tsus (Annabel Lee and Conrad) and their two cats (Nickolai and Puchento), so Kris can pursue her PhD at the University of Maryland. Paul is teaching at BCCC and MICA and loves it. Working with inner city students in Baltimore has changed his life. Also, he is proud of the books of poetry that he has written so far and hopes to one day publish one. In the future, he will work on less abstraction and more physicality. He hopes that his poems will eventually bruise and pummel readers. Strange things happen to Paul a daily basis, but he tries to lead a normal life.

[Note #1: This postcard life story is part of a series of postcard life stories that appear in Keyhole #6 (guest edited by William Walsh), where all the contributor bios will be postcard life stories--the idea being to make every possible aspect of the magazine literature.]

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