About

“It is difficult to get the news from poems, yet men die miserably every day for lack of what is found there.”
— William Carlos Williams, physician and poet

I have picked crops, been a mill worker, a cannery worker, a sawyer, carpenter, surveyor, bus driver, musician, engineer, and resident corporate mustapha. Now I am studying to be a working poet – with a small p.

Labor, the work of your hands and heart, is sacred and you shouldn’t give it away to just anybody. I started working on commercial farms picking berries and beans when I was ten and have worked at least part of each year since.  Poetry is culture work. If the poet does his or her job well, their work becomes insurgent art and a human call to arms, as Carlos Williams pointed out. If there is anything more important right now, I’m not sure what it is.

I started writing under the pen name Burl Whitman when I began learning the craft (I still am.) But after taking numerous classes from some excellent poets I’ve started publishing in journals and elsewhere using my given name. It seems like a good time to start using it here too. I like my pen name though. Burl has helped my learn to write like who I am. So he isn’t going away, just taking a breather. Thanks to all my friends who have read my work here. I’ve learned a lot from reading yours as well. 

Write on, my friends. It is down to us now.

Yours in art and labor,

–Craig Brandis (aka Burl Whitman)

CraigSmiling

8 responses to “About

  1. Hi, thank you for following my poetry blog. This to inform you is a bilingual blog, so if you get a notice about an Italian poems, use your patience 😉 an English one will soon follow. I’m doing my best to keep things balanced…

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  2. I share your view of what poets do.

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  4. Thanks for showing interest in what I put out too. I sincerely hope you continue to find my works entertaining & pleasurable. Be safe.

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  5. Hi,

    I’m Tokoni, A student and poet. Its nice to meet your I’d like to invite you to my blog, http://www.insanitybeautiful.wordpress.com if you’re interested. Thanks!  

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  6. I came, I saw, I read and now I follow. Love it. Keep it up.

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  7. I wonder whether you would mind telling us a little about the change of name? I’ve followed your poems for a long time now, with real interest, knowing you as Burl. I went through a name change myself three years ago when my first book was published and I realised I wanted, and needed, to publish under a pen name. It can be an important decision. All the best, John

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  8. Craig Brandis (aka Burl Whitman)

    Of course. Thanks for asking. John, I’ve really appreciated your readership and comments over the years! I enjoyed reading Hive Mind as well. I found it far ranging, literate and intriguing writing. I started writing under a pen name ten years ago because I was a journeyman learning a craft. After taking numerous classes from some excellent poets I’ve started publishing in journals and I’ve also been offered a book contract. Assuming things work out (they are being very slow) I’ll use my given name there. It seemed like a good time to use it here too. I like my pen name though, it feels like a distinct persona, and I may use it again later.

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