Michael R. Collings
I am a professor emeritus of English at Pepperdine University in Malibu CA (although my retirement home is in southwestern Idaho). During my twenty-seven years at Pepperdine I taught everything from Freshman Composition to Advanced Grammar to Business Writing; from Survey of English Literature to Milton and the Epic; from Introduction to Creative Writing to Senior Seminars in Writing.
Along the way, I discovered the joys of writing, not just to meet requirements for graduate degrees or to insure tenure, but for myself--saying things in a way that might make my thoughts more interesting for readers and thereby invite them back into the books I talked about. Most of my academic writing relates to authors I love: John Milton, the great 17th-century English poet, on the one hand; Stephen King, Orson Scott Card, Piers Anthony, and additional science fiction, fantasy, and horror writers on the other.
But my real love now is creative writing: novels, short stories, and most especially poetry. My offerings range from the three-line haiku found in Tissue Promises to a 6,500-line epic, The Nephiad. And everything in between.
Please let me know what you think at my website: http://www.starshineandshadows.com/
Where to find Michael R. Collings online
Where to buy in print
Cryptic Armature: Verses in the Manner of....
More than just a collection of verses, this book is something of an informal commentary on the history of English literature, something of a conversation with a few of the finest poets in the language. These original poems are written “in the manner of…,” using forms and structures pioneered by great writers (and occasionally artists) of the past to create something contemporary and modern.
Shorts: Terse Verse
Modern taste runs to short poems—and these verses are precisely that. Over fifty verses, ranging from a six-line reduction of Christopher Marlowe’s "Dr. Faustus" to a one-word, slant-rhyme, leonine line in iambic dimeter. Most start with another poem—either a single line or the entire work—then respond to it, confute it, subvert it, pun on it, or otherwise simply have fun with it. Enjoy!
Going on a Picnic: Poetry Especially for Children
These twenty-one poems, written with a younger audience in mind, recall special moments of childhood--moments of discovery, of excitement, of joy, of learning. All are designed to appeal to the child in the reader...regardless of age.
A Quizzical Verse: Limericks Comic and Not
Everyone knows about limericks--five short lines packed with twists and turns, comic rhymes, frequent tongue-twisters, and a rollicking meter that just won’t quit. In this book you will find nearly seventy limericks ranging from limericks about limericks, to limericks that explore oddly distorted views of history, to limericks that play with the frequent conundrums presented by English spelling.
Tissue Promises: 151 Haiku
This volume collects over 150 haiku, roughly arranged by seasons and degrees to which they represent traditional forms. It does not restrict itself to the conventional 5-7-5 syllabic form (although many do follow that guideline) but instead concentrates on communicating image, emotion, and imagination. It is intended as both a sampling and an impetus for readers to try out their own poetic skills.
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