Woodrat Podcast 15: Howie Good on poetry and journalism

Howie and Barb Good
Howie Good (right, with wife Barb)

A conversation with poet and professor of journalism Howie Good. Topics and poems include: “Could Be Worse,” real life as a seedbed for poems, “Schoolyard Blues,” “Loops,” and “Pedagogy of the Possessed” (all included in Lovesick), the decline of newspapers, blogging as journalism, professionalism and ethics among citizen journalists, how to get the truth out and whether knowledge of the truth is enough to catalyze action, surrealism as a more accurate reflection of contemporary life, compiling and submitting poetry chapbooks, submitting to online versus paper journals, the value of books, “There’s No Money in Poetry, Someone Said,” and Dying Words.

Theme music: “Le grand sequoia,” by Innvivo (Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike licence)

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Dave Bonta (bio) crowd-sources his problems by following his gut, which he shares with 100 trillion of his closest microbial friends — a close-knit, symbiotic community comprising several thousand species of bacteria, fungi, and protozoa. In a similarly collaborative fashion, all of Dave’s writing is available for reuse and creative remix under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License. For attribution in printed material, his name (Dave Bonta) will suffice, but for web use, please link back to the original. Contact him for permission to waive the “share alike” provision (e.g. for use in a conventionally copyrighted work).


  1. Are all poets lovely, or just the ones you know, Dave? It feels more and more of a privilege to listen to this series of interviews, like eavesdropping on conversations between very talented friends.


    1. I feel privileged to have listeners like you, Jean. Thanks.


  2. thank you, jean. dave is a great interviewer who brings out the best in his subject (and he’s a terrific editor, too).


    1. Aw shucks. I think I do put people at ease, but probably because I don’t ask very tough questions. :)


  3. No, you ask the ‘right’ questions, and you’re very there, but don’t overreact or distract and on the few occasions you say more than ‘hum’, it’s nearly always something that is knowledgeable and pertinent and opens up the conversation. It’s fabulous stuff, really. I listen to radio a lot and am rarely so engaged.

    In the UK we often feel overrun by US culture, but this is only in the very centre of the mainstream. The poetry, the environmental and political writing I read, the less mainstream music I listen to is nearly all British: much harder for the distribution and publicity for this kind of stuff to reach around the world. So you’re really bringing me close to the art of people like Howie which I’d almost certainly never have known, sharing ‘your’ America with me (oh dear, that expression is such a cliche, but I don’t know how else to say it).

    Anyway, thank you.


  4. Howie’s take on today’s news media and your discussion with him about publishing poetry were really helpful. I love Howie’s honesty. I hope he runs for office again, maybe for one with a wider constituency.

    I can’t fathom the rate of his poetry production. The material he read was quite polished, though.


    1. Yeah, he’s a poetry-writing machine! Very inspiring.

      Glad you enjoyed the conversation. I plan to resume the podcasting in late August or early September.


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