Mark Cox
September 2005


Mark CoxMark Cox (1956, East St. Louis, Illinois) teaches in the Department of Creative Writing at UNC-Wilmington. His honors include a Whiting Writers' Award, a Pushcart Prize, the Oklahoma Book Award, The Society of Midland Authors Poetry Prize, and numerous fellowships. During Summer 2000, he served as the 24th Poet-in-Residence at The Frost Place, Robert Frost's family home, in Franconia, New Hampshire. His books include Smoulder (David R. Godine, 1989), Thirty-seven Years from the Stone (Pitt Poetry Series, 1998), and Natural Causes (Pitt Poetry Series, 2004). He lives in Wilmington, North Carolina, with his wife, Karin, and their three children.


From my perspective, my body of work is really one long poem. A kind of record of my being in time. Sometimes I will approach that very lyrically, trying to absorb and translate the sub-verbal feelings of a moment in time; other times I find myself pinning that moment to a more narrative forensic bulletin board, trying to understand its causal relationships. Both modes are important to me, parts of who I am, as is a sweeping range of tone and diction. I worked for a decade as a bridge painter before I started teaching, and that definitely affected my stance toward formality in language and sentence structure. Though lately I’ve certainly gotten quieter and unashamedly domestic. Ultimately, on my good days, I try not to limit myself, to take risks, to love the writing (living) process more than what gets written. On my good days, a voice occasionally coalesces for me and I write it down.

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