I will admit that in almost every case, I will overlook poetry in favor of prose. There are, however, a couple of poets I keep an eye on. One, who I refer to on the blog fairly regularly, is my good friend Ashley Capes. The other is James Hutchings, another Australian poet.

Hutchings usually writes in very strictly metered verse that reminds me of the older classic poetry I first learned to enjoy as a child, such as Abdul Abulbul Amir by Percy French, and The Song of Roland. Notably, most of these classic poems are very heavy in the storytelling elements that appeal to me in prose–and Hutchings’ work is very much the same.

The first poem of his that caught my eye, in an online writing workshop we both belong to, was an epic retelling of another early favorite, Edgar Rice Burroughs’ The Princess of Mars. I also had the pleasure of reading his poem ‘The Magician’ while it was being workshopped, which became one of my favorite poems of all time–though sadly I don’t believe it’s available to read anywhere right now. Since then, I’ve eagerly awaited any glimpse of new work.

Hutchings has published a collection of both prose and poetry, The New Death and others, which you can get for $0.99 on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B005Q8Q8DY It is full of incredible wordsmithing and gallows humor. You can read a  thorough review of the collection here.

Most recently, a brilliantly haunting science fiction poem (a phrase I have never uttered before, nor expected to!) by Hutchings was published in Wisdom Crieth Without, which you can read here: http://www.wisdomcriethwithout.com/wisdom-crieth-without-issue-11/3/

You can also visit Hutchings’ blog, Teleli, which includes fiction and various musings, as well as a comprehensive list of all his work available on the web. Even if your usual reading habits don’t include a large allowance for poetry, I highly recommend it.

~ RM

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