April 9, 2010

Poetry Friday--Dorothea Grossman

At the end of last year I decided that I should at least try to become familiar with the names of some contemporary poets. I sent in my money to the Poetry Foundation and started receiving their monthly publication, Poetry Magazine, in January. I had a little problem with the first two months. Reading some of the poems was like reading something written in Martian. I had no idea what was going on. Then came the March issue and one of the poets whose work was featured was Dorothea Grossman. She had me at the first poem, "I have to tell you."
I have to tell you,
there are times when
the sun strikes me
like a gong,
and I remember everything,
even your ears.
Don't you just love it? I like it when poets can say what they have to say simply and precisely. For me, less is more.

There are nine of Grossman's poems in the March issue. I liked them all.

I wanted to find out more about the poet, so I went to the Poetry Foundation's website looking. A visit early in the month revealed that the March issue's poems and poets had not yet been put up. I did a search on Barnes & Noble for books by Grossman and found nothing. A simple Google search brought up a few of her poems, but nothing much in the way of biographical information other than she goes by the name, Dottie, and she combines her poetry with jazz. You can see pictures of her here that are accompanied by four poems--the photos and poems together reveal much. Fortunately I checked the Poetry Foundation site later in the month and found a complete interview with Grossman from Travis Nichols. Check it out to learn more about this poet and how her relationship with jazz came about. All nine of her poems are there, too, for you to enjoy!

Head on over to Paper Tigers for this week's Poetry Friday Round-Up.


  1. Hi Diane,

    I love this line "the sun strikes me/ like a gong" - how brilliant! Thanks for sharing these links and the lines written by Dorothea Grossman. I'm a jazz fan and I love when poetry is combined with music. Did you discover any listening samples of her work?


  2. Very cool!

    Thanks for sharing Dottie Grossman's work.


  3. Grossman is completely new to me, too - oh, isn't it great to find a new poet whose poetry excites you? Thanks for the links, Diane.

  4. No, not even on YouTube! But I did find info. about a CD:

    Dottie Grossman/Michael Vlatkovich
    "Call and Response"



  5. Thank you for introducing me to a new poet - I love the extract you've quoted.

    And I also love your blog banner :-)