Tim J. Myers: Building a Poem

Word by Word, Line by Line. Tim J. Myers, a Senior Lecturer at Santa Clara University, will be presenting “Building a Poem” on Sunday, September 18, 2016 from 3:00 p.m. – 3:50 p.m. at our San José Poetry Festival 2016: Breaking Borders, at History San José.

Myers claims, the best poetry works, in part, because it’s crafted carefully even in its details. In his presentation Tim Myers will read some of his poems, and explore ways to make one’s poetry more vibrant and powerful via specifics. Good poetry is a “full” experience, that is, it engages readers on many levels; it succeeds because of both conscious and unconscious effects on readers.  With this in mind, Tim will analyze sample poems by paying attention to specific craft elements—like word choice, sound, rhythm, line breaks, and so on.  Also, Tim Myers will look at the “psychological journey” an individual poem takes a reader on, using sample poems as models and analyzing them.

Tim J Myers.
Tim J.Myers is a prolific writer. His Nectar of Story: Poems got superb endorsements from nationally-known writers Chase Twichell, Grace Cavalieri, Joseph Bruchac, and National Book Award finalist Ron Hansen. He has two other books of poetry out. He has published over 130 individual poems, won a national poetry contest judged by John Updike, and won a prize in the international Writers of the Future Contest for science fiction.  His children’s book Basho and the Fox was read aloud on NPR, made the New York Times bestseller list for children’s book, and was a Smithsonian Notable children’s book for 2001.

Tim believes, “a powerful story, whether actual or fantastic, is a landmark in the psychic world…and we never know what a story may do as it comes into our lives.”


The papers say the Chinese knew them first,
three years after the death of the one called Christ.

They make me want to speak. I grope for theme,
finding only a resonance of dream.

One blurs past, its yellow-white of sun
an instant’s glow this side of oblivion.

I scratch for a poem. It’s discontent I feel
while space is grassland flared with asphodel.

Copyright © 1996, Tim Myers



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