Poetry: Sue Ellen Thompson and the Power of the Narrative Poem


In the relatively small but extraordinarily nuanced world of contemporary American poetry, there persists a noticeable divide between those using a narrative structure for their poems, a telling of a story or life experience, as opposed to a highly academic, language puzzle-like form now gaining tracking at colleges and universities these days. Fortunately for her Mid-Shore audience, as well as a growing national one, Talbot County based poet Sue Ellen Thompson elected to follow the former with her very personal and exceptionally accessible portfolio of work found in her five published books.

With undergraduate and masters degrees from Middlebury College, with its celebrated reputation for creative writing, as well as one of a very few writers selected to attend the the nearby Bread Loaf writers conference in Vermont, Thompson very quickly identified with a form of poetry that allowed the personal voice to speak.

In her Spy interview, Sue Ellen talks about her early connection to poetry and the use of that form as a journey into her family. She also discusses and reads from her fifth volume of work, They published by Turning Point Books this spring that centers around her child’s discovery of their transgender identity.

This video is eight approximately minutes in length


About Dave Wheelan

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