More by William Baer
Some of the highlights from these interviews include: Betty Comden and Adolph Green's explaining how a nightclub skit became the premise for Singin' in the Rain; Ernest Lehman's description of how, while in conversation with Hitchcock, his unconscious suddenly solved the plot problems in North by Northwest; Carl Gottlieb's remembrance of the terrible pressure involved with writing the script for Jaws while shooting was already underway; and Sylvester Stallone's account of how he received final approval to star in Rocky from studio executives who thought he was just another actor.
X. J. Kennedy
John Frederick Nims
W. D. Snodgrass
When free verse and its many movements seemed to dominate poetry, other writers worked steadfastly, insistently, and majestically in traditional forms of rhyme and meter.
Such poets as Anthony Hecht, Donald Justice, Derek Walcott, and Richard Wilbur used sonnets, villanelles, blank verse, and many other forms to create dazzling, lasting work. Their writing posed a counterpoint to free verse, sustained a tradition in English language verse, and eventually inspired the movement called New Formalism.
"Fourteen on Form: Conversations with Poets" collects interviews with some of the most influential poets of the last fifty years. William Baer, editor of "The Formalist" asks incisive questions that allow writers to discuss in detail a wide range of topics related to their work, methods of composition, and the contemporary poetry scene.
Maxine Kumin reflects on being a woman poet during a period in which women were not encouraged to submit to journals. With clarity and passion, Walcott remembers the impetus of his famous "Eulogy to W. H. Auden." British poet Wendy Cope talks about the differences between how her barbed poems are received in England and abroad. The conversations return continually to the serious matter of poetic craft, especially the potential power of form in poetry.
These well-paced conversations showcase poets discussing their creative lives with insight and candor. The sum total of their forthright opinions in "Fourteen on Form" not only elucidates the current situation of the art form but also serves as a primer for understanding the fundamental craft of poetics.
William Baer is a professor of English at the University of Evansville and the editor of "The Formalist." He edited "Elia Kazan: Interviews and Conversations" with Derek Walcott (both published by University Press of Mississippi).
In New Jersey Noir, William Baer reinvigorates the detective genre while exploring the Garden State's rich cultural history, glamor, and gore. Baer's novel is fast-paced and utterly gripping, brimming with intrigue and suspense.
PRAISE FOR NEW JERSEY NOIR:
An accomplished poet, playwright, and short-story writer, William Baer has turned to crime, creating a brilliant debut novel, the hard-boiled whodunit New Jersey Noir. If you’re looking for classic noir elements, you’ll find them here, in spades. And you’ll find fine literary elements here, as well: precise prose, perfect pacing, stunning imagery, complex characterization, grand historical and cultural contexts, and a superb sense of place. More than anything else, New Jersey Noir is a loving tribute to the Garden State by a writer who appreciates its grime as much as its glory.
- Hollis Seamon (Jersey girl, born and raised), author of Somebody Up There Hates You
Not since Donna Tartt’s The Secret History have I read a novel as mesmerizing, engrossing, and delectable as William Baer’s New Jersey Noir-a book so compelling that I was forced to drop everything and commit myself for several hours to experiencing, vicariously, the strange and haunted darkness that is the shadow world of this novel. In prose as fast-moving as a bullet, Baer compels the reader to keep flipping pages more and more rapidly. Baer’s writing is taut and gut-wrenching. New Jersey Noir and Baer’s talent presage a brilliant career for this wonderfully gifted writer.
- Terri Brown-Davidson, author of Marie, Marie, Hold On Tight
Jack Colt, the private investigator in William Baer’s New Jersey Noir, romances the genre to the suspenseful effect that JJ “Jake” Gittes achieves in Roman Polanski’s acclaimed Chinatown. In place of technicolor LA, however, Baer evokes a cinematic chiaroscuro New Jersey, specifically Paterson, its history and politics limned over a baseline of Springsteen, doo-wop, and Whitney Houston. In the early pages of this compelling mystery when Colt muses that his fellow detective, Luca Salerno, “was tough all right, but not tough enough to look into the heart of darkness,” the allusion to Joseph Conrad alerts us that we are in for a more trenchant narrative than a gumshoe and dames thriller. Baer fulfills by deftly executing the universal themes of incest, adultery, madness, and undisguised evil rising out of the swamps of the Meadowlands and beyond.
- Dennis Must, author of Hush Now, Don’t Explain