Contributor Spotlight: Brian Breatty

Four excerpts from Brazil, Indiana by Brian Beatty appeared in Issue 10 and can be read here.Brian Beatty

Tell us a little about these excerpts.

Brazil, Indiana is a book-length sequence of short lyric poems honoring the people and places of my small town youth. I hoped to create a literary mosaic that would do justice to the town’s odd character(s). It was also important to me that people who don’t usually read poetry be able to find a way into the book. Approachability was more of a priority than academic, literary worth.

What was the most difficult part of writing these poems?

When I was about 50 poems into the sequence, I didn’t know if I’d realize when I had a whole book. But once I did decide I was finished, no more Brazil poems bubbled up on my computer screen. That’s how I knew I was done.

Recommend a book for us which was published within the last decade.

What About This: Collected Poems of Frank Stanford (Copper Canyon Press)

If you could have a drink with any living author, who would it be? Why?

I’d love to knock back a couple of whiskeys with the poet Maurice Manning, then compare his Kentucky to my Southern Indiana. From what I’ve read (and loved) of his poems, I think we’d have a lot of shared experiences.

What are you working on now? What’s next?

The Brazil book is due out from Kelsay Books/Aldrich Press in late 2016 or early 2017. Since I received that news, I’ve been working on a smaller sequence of short “hypothetical” poems. I’m not entirely sure what “hypothetical” means in this case. That’s why I’m keep writing it inside quotation marks. I’m also looking forward to giving readings around the publication of the Brazil book.

Other excerpts from Brazil, Indiana (a folk poem) have appeared in Alba, Clementine Poetry Journal, Dressing Room Poetry Journal, Glasgow Review of Books, Hobart, Midwestern Gothic, The Moth, Poetry City USA, Right Hand Pointing, Two Hawks Quarterly and Yellow Chair Review, among other print and digital publications.

Our thanks to Brian for taking the time to answer a few questions and share his work. Read Four excerpts from Brazil, Indiana here: www.sequestrum.org/poetry-by-brian-beatty.

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Brian Beatty’s jokes, poems and short stories have appeared in numerous print and digital publications, including Conduit, The Evergreen Review, The Glasgow Review of Books, Hobart, McSweeney’s, Midwestern Gothic, Opium, The Quarterly, Seventeen and The Sycamore Review. Red Bird Chapbooks published his collection Coyotes I Couldn’t See in 2016. The Brazil, Indiana sequence is due out from Kelsey Books/Aldrich Press.