Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The Poetry of Baseball

I love when sports and art intersect, which isn’t often enough. My sister sent me this beautiful meditation on the role of baseball and poetry, published in the September issue of Poetry magazine, written by major leaguer Fernando Perez (he’s an outfielder for the Tampa Bay Rays, but he previously played for the minor league team in her town).

Enticing excerpt:

“Like poetry, baseball is a kind of counter culture. The (optional) isolation from the outside world (which I often opt for); the idleness about which—and out of which—so many poems are written or sung: I see this state of mind as a blessing. Sometimes, in fact, when I haven’t turned on a television or touched a newspaper for months, freed from the corporate bombast, poetry is the only dialect I recognize.”

Here’s his bio from the Poetry Foundation’s press release:

“Perez is a graduate of Columbia University in New York City, where he received a degree in American studies and completed the creative writing program. He joined the Tampa Bay Rays in 2008 and was one of six Ivy Leaguers to be appointed to the roster of Major League Baseball teams in the 2009 season. A longtime reader of contemporary poetry, Perez has named Robert Creeley and John Ashbery among his favorite poets.”

And speaking of baseball and art…go, Red Sox!

No, actually, take note that The Southern Review is reading fiction, essays, and poems for an upcoming baseball issue. Details are here; the deadline is November 1, 2009. Batter up!


DC-area author Leslie Pietrzyk explores the creative process and all things literary.