Poets are not known for their good behavior. Some have been alcoholics, suffered from mental illness, been addicts. This post is not the place to discuss how life’s suffering fuels art, but rather to tempt you to read a great New York Times article, “A Poet Mines Memories of Drug Addiction.”
Gil Fagiani’s life and work make an interesting story. I’ll have to find some of his work. You can click through the article itself to read some of his poems.
I like this quote. I wish more people wrote and published poems out of their honesty, rather than with a desire to impress academia.
He is not interested in scoring points with the literary crowd. He’d rather reach people. “I had a calling in recovery, a calling to help people,” he said. “I’m not that politically active anymore. It comes through my poetry. I’m willing to take the risk and trust the reader. I’m also more interested in giving a sense of dignity to the people that society would see as the scum of the earth. They’re human beings. The reason they became addicts is complex.”