The Write Stuff: Terry Taplin on Becoming Imaginary and the Tension Between Oblivion and Meticulosity
The Write Stuff is a series of interview profiles conducted by Litseen, where authors give exclusive readings from their work.
Terry Taplin was born in Berkeley, CA in 1988, the year of Robert Duncan's passing. Having begun writing poetry under the tutelage of Judith Lee Stronach, he continues in his life long journey as an eternal student of poetic craft and traditions. A devout believer in the power and importance of the Liberal Arts and drawing deeply from oral and literary poetics ranging from Classical Antiquity to the Middle Ages and Renaissance to the 20th and 21st Century, his writing seeks a synthesis and reconciliation of forms and aesthetics.
With one hand on the human and ecological crises and one hand on the peculiarities of a mindscape equally predisposed to escapism and mingled bliss and grief, the poems of Taplin aim to transport and guide readers through literary microclimates, each striking a tension between oblivion and meticulosity and within which image/lyric are foregrounded and meaning/narrative are subsumed by alchemy and myth.
Taplin's performance work has appeared on stages ranging from The San Francisco Opera House and The Masonic Auditorium to The Apollo Theater in Harlem and Da Poetry Lounge in Hollywood. His page work has been featured at reading series throughout the Bay Area, including New Poetry Mission in San Francisco, Lyrics and Dirges in Berkeley, Under the Influence at the Emerald Tablet in North Beach, as well as the 2012 Beast Crawl and the 10th Berkeley Poetry Festival in 2012. He holds several local and national slam poetry championships and final-stage performances spanning 2006-2012 across the youth and collegiate circuits, as both a competing poet and as a coach. In 2014 he became the co-recipient of the Ina Coolbrith Memorial Poetry Prize for undergraduate poetry and the Newman Award for undergraduate writing and was awarded an honorable mention in Spectrum for literary criticism. Both the Newman Award and Spectrum are housed at Saint Mary's College of California, where Terry studies Classical Greek and Latin.More »