NY-based Author Tim Tomlinson visits Manila and discusses his poetry, works, and influences


Author Tim Tomlinson talks about his literary influences

Literature fans as well as writers, both aspiring and published, had the privilege of listening to the co-founder of the New York Writers Workshop, Tim Tomlinson, talk about contemporary fiction and poetry


A frequent visitor to Manila, Brooklyn-based Tim Tomlinson is a professor of Writing at New York University’s Global Liberal Studies Program. He is also the author of the chapbook Yolanda: An Oral History in Verse,  the poetry collection Requiem for the Tree Fort I Set on Fire, and the collection of short fiction, This Is Not Happening to You. He also co-authored The Portable MFA in Creative Writing, an indispensable resource for writers everywhere.

He read aloud some of his poetry and short stories to the audience, and shared his own selections of outstanding contemporary poetry by the likes of Kim Addonizio and Sherman Alexie.


One of the most poignant pieces he read was a poem about his father, reproduced here:


At Night, After the Screams

At night, after the screams wake us,

we hear

him

make his walk

to the kitchen,

hear

his callused feet scuff

the hardwood floor, hear

him mutter curses

at the carpet,

its edge

perpetually curled, hear him

go

silent

on the linoleum

of the kitchen

floor.

So much is hidden

by our mother,

in closets

behind cans and boxes.

So much

that he loves

but we love,

too.

Mallomars, Mr. Chips,

Chips Ahoy!

We hear him

rummaging,

rummaging,

the cans clinking,

the boxes cracking open,

and his hands,

his thick

callused hands

ripping

through wax paper

and plastic packaging.

Hear

the refrigerator suck

open

sense

its light through the cracks

of our bedroom doors.

When he stands

in that cold light,

when he upends the milk carton,

when he douses

the fire

in his throat,

does he wonder, as we

do,

what made him scream,

again,

this time,

his mother’s name?


- Tim Tomlinson

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