Poetic Passion: Professor Reflects on Recently Published Work

Writing, to Howard Good, is much like regular routines and ways of living. He explains that being inspired is a kind of everyday occurance.

Good, a digital media and journalism professor, smiled as he said that he also writes poetry, something not many would guess for a professor who doesn’t teach English or creative writing. He has been writing poetry since he was young, and now with several volumes published, he has plenty of experience to offer to aspiring poets.

Writing is what he does and who he is, so inspiration is always present. His new book, “Unstable Elements Starring Dangerous Acts,” is now available for purchase on the Internet and is published by Americana Press.

“It’s what I do, it’s who I am. I do it the way you eat breakfast, walk a dog … it’s just ingrained in my daily life and identity,” Good said.

Many of his poems have a unique, atypical writing style, and build upon common sentiments we all experience. From “Defoe in the Pillory,” Good manages to connect someone from behind the police barricades to a witness asking about sleep, drawing upon how the innocent view the condemned and possibly how their details are irrelevant. However, much is left to the reader to decide how to think and feel about his work.

“Every poem is different,” Good said. “It’s a different experience to write, and a somewhat different experience to read. If there was one overriding goal it would be to push back against the deadening mass culture that we all find ourselves mired in. Poem(s) are the opposite of Facebook updates, or the latest Star Wars sequel. They’re antithetical.”

And with the boom of mass media and Facebook, it can be difficult to establish oneself in the market with intellectual works of poetry. When asked if he writes for himself or others, Good hesitates and carefully considers the question.

“I start by writing for myself, but it would be disingenuous to say I don’t write for readers,” Good said. “I try to get published so I will have readers, but I write for both. Sometimes a surprise idea will come out when I’m writing, before the final draft, and I’m surprised where the poem has taken me.”

With surprise ideas popping in, Good rarely gets writers block to slow down his creative process. As with most poets, Good attests that poetry is a complex art and requires fine thinking. He tries to reflect deeply on what is around him and what he feels, apart from simple observation.

Good’s perspective on poetry is based on reasoning that it is much like transcending to another way of being and experiencing.

“Poetry is a different way of speaking and knowing, you apprehend the world in a different way than with ordinary daily life. You need a different consciousness. I put my head in a different space that most people are willing to do.”

Practice and willingness to develop a talent will take anyone to higher levels of their craft, as Good knows. He says in reference to an alternative consciousness for writing poetry that “the actual process of writing will take you there. And if you’re lucky and successful, the poem will do that for the reader, too.”