My poem “Rescue” is just out in Radar Poetry, accompanied by a beautiful photograph by Alan Bern, and appears alongside a host of wonderful poems, some by poets who are new to me (full contents here). It’s my second time in Radar, and it’s a real pleasure–they are lovely to work with and take such care with the work of the poets they publish. If you’re a woman poet, check out their Coniston Prize contest, which is open now.
“Rescue” is about Simon (11-year-old German shepherd/Chow mix) and Mason (4-year-old Yellow Lab mix), who came to our home from the south in late January. I’ve been writing poems about our dogs for about as long as I’ve been writing poetry. I was very lucky that my first poetry teacher told me, “If Mark Doty can write about his dogs, so can you.” It’s risky, of course. Poems about dogs can veer into the sentimental pretty easily (and I’ve written some truly terrible dog poems), but when you get them right they capture something of what is so compelling and important about this lifelong bond. I’m proud of this one.
A couple of shots of the boys, including one surprising habit that makes me smile every time: