Haunted Importantly

haunted importantly

I'm Michael Klein, a poet and writer who has written three books of poems, a memoir, a book of essays, and a chapbook of prose poems (or they might actually be very short lyric essays).  My memoir, "Track Conditions," is about my experiences on the racetrack and being groom to Kentucky Derby winner, Swale. I've also edited three anthologies which all face, in one way or another, the AIDS pandemic.  

Lately, I've been doing a lot of critical essays -- on poetry mostly, for the Rumpus and Los Angeles Review of Books websites.  And I've also been enjoying doing interviews over the years -- mostly, with poets, though I have also interviewed writer and activist Eve Ensler and the theatre composer and lyricist, Adam Guettel (which I still have to transcribe.  It's very long).  I also teach in the MFA Program at Goddard College and in the summers have lately been doing a week-long memoir workshop at Castle Hill Center for the Arts in Truro.  

At Haunted Importantly, I will be sharing news and published work and provide links to everything I can remember.  And, eventually, there may be a blog, too about the movies and theater and other stuff I go to, when I leave my husband and dog and cat alone. Basically, I want this to be an open forum for ideas as they occur -- my mind, in space.  Or elsewhere, depending on the temperature.  

This is a video of me reading a poem called "Real Men" which originally appeared in Tin House.

P.O.P is an evolving conversation between and about poets. Each poet answers an anonymous questions by leaving a new question for another poet. Excerpts of P.O.P are taken from an ongoing series about contemporary poetry and its culture through a sequence of candid conversations concerning poetry, imagination, and poetic process in the context of human experience. Directed and Produced by Rachel Eliza Griffiths 2012 All Rights Reserved.

1984 Kentucky Derby won by Swale.  The photograph on the cover of "Track Conditions" is me leading Swale off the racetrack in the race just before the Kentucky Derby, at Keeneland Racetrack.  He lost.  Bad.  The racing surface that day, as I describe in the book was like toothpaste on a desktop.

Swale winning the 1984 Florida Derby at Gulfstream Park.  He had the habit of never winning two races in a row, but sandwiching his wins, which always kept us on our toes!

Burt Baroff introduces Michael Klein and Neil Shepard, November 18, 2013, at The Playroom Theater

Here's a podcast from the April issue of POETRY magazine where I discuss my essay there, "Risk Delight:  Happiness and the 'I' at the End of the World" with Don Share, editor of the magazine.