Ten Years of “The Undertaking”

Last week, as I was emailing out press releases about my Dead Advice project, I began targetting literary journals – specifically ones that publish creative nonfiction, in addition to poetry and fiction. One of the publications I came across again was Hayden’s Ferry Review – a journal that accepted a poem of mine, way back in 1999.

I remembered this, and went to go look for my contributor’s copy in my library. When I cracked open the book, I suddenly realized the poem I had written was inspired by my old professor David Citino (who always used news clippings as workshop exercises, and helped generate many a poem). It also included a quotation from Thomas Lynch’s “The Undertaking,” which is what ended up inspiring me to create Dead Advice.

It’s crazy that such a book has been with me for over 10 years, and that it continues to inspire me long after that first reading.

I ended up getting a favorable reply from HFR, and they were kind enough to make Dead Advice their Website of the Week, on their blog.

I really need to do a proper book review of The Undertaking soon, but in the meantime… I can’t recommend this book enough. I pick it up at least once a year, and derive a great deal of pleasure re-reading it. And, apparently, I’ve been doing this for ten years now.

Memorial for David Citino
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