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  • Mark Halliday (bio)

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"I've always been attracted to the idea of a poem as a kind of speech. To be more theoretically careful, call it an imitation of speech. With some poems, this quality is obvious—as in all the poems we call monologues and all the poems we describe as 'discursive' or 'conversational.' I realize there are some kinds of poetry (I think of Geoffrey Hill, W. S. Merwin, Sylvia Plath, Ezra Pound, much 'experimental' work) where the use of language is so cerebral or so inward that the term 'voice' hardly seems helpful in describing them. But for me, the possibilities of the human voice are endlessly fascinating; I love to explore the infinite ways in which we can imagine one person trying to reach another person by talking.

"'Tim Off to Charlotte' came from the common experience of overhearing cell phone conversations in airport lounges; businessmen sometimes make dozens of calls in a row. It's annoying if you're sitting nearby, but one such businessman struck me as a person possibly very lonely. 'Wait For the Beep' tries to do something with the poignancy we sometimes hear in messages on answering machines. 'Shmedlo Talk' came from living for ten months in a community of scholars and artists at the American Academy in Rome; people couldn't help being enthralled by the possibility of illicit intimacy, an idea that helps keep life interesting."

Born in 1949, Mark Halliday earned his BA at Brown University, an MA in creative writing from Brown and a PhD in English literature from Brandeis University. He has taught high school and college English and, since 1996, has taught at Ohio University in the creative writing program. He has published four books of poems, a book on Wallace Stevens, Stevens and the Interpersonal (Princeton UP, 1991) and also in 1991, from Johns Hopkins UP, The Sighted Singer , a book on poetics co-authored by Allen Grossman and Halliday. In 1998-2000 he held a Lila Wallace/Reader's Digest Foundation Writer's Award. In 2001-2002 he lived at the American Academy in Rome as a winner of the Rome Prize of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. In 2006 he won a Guggenheim Fellowship.

Mark Halliday

Born in 1949, Mark Halliday earned his BA at Brown University, an MA in creative writing from Brown and a PhD in English literature from Brandeis University. He has taught high school and college English and, since 1996, has taught at Ohio University in the creative writing program. He has published four books of poems, a book on Wallace Stevens, Stevens and the Interpersonal (Princeton UP, 1991) and also in 1991, from Johns Hopkins UP, The Sighted Singer, a book on poetics co-authored by Allen Grossman and Halliday. In 1998-2000 he held a Lila Wallace/Reader’s Digest Foundation Writer’s Award. In 2001-2002 he lived at the American Academy in Rome as a winner of the Rome Prize of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. In 2006 he won a Guggenheim Fellowship.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1548-9930
Print ISSN
0191-1961
Pages
p. 163
Launched on MUSE
2007-01-08
Open Access
No
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