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Thomas H Crofts

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Member Since: Mar, 2009

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  Thomas H Crofts

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Thomas Crofts teaches English literature (medieval) at East Tennessee State University. His poetry has appeared in several magazines, self-published chapbooks and his blog.


Background Information

Educated at Bard College (B.A. 1990), Trinity College, Dublin (M.Phil 1992) and the University of Wisconsin (Ph.D. 2003), I now teach English Literature at East Tennessee State University. Academic interests and publications, including the book Malory's Contemporary Audience: The Social Reading of Romance in Late Medieval England (D. S. Brewer 2006), are in the literature of the English 14th and 15th centuries.

 

I also edited The Cavalier Poets: An Antholgy (New York 1996).

 

My poetry has appeared in a few journals and self-published chapbooks as well as my blog: www.commoncrofts.com.

 

The chapbooks Didaktikon of Death (2003), Pandemonium (2005) and Cyclops (2007) expressly confronted the horrors--both homefront and abroad--of the Bush Administration's abuse and murder of humans in its wars and prisons, as well as its arrogance, its hurling of fear, and its peddling of false consciouness at home. Though neither a public nor a political poet, I wrote these lyrics, I suppose, from the perspective of a dreamer waking up to a reality worse than any bad dream, any intellectual nightmare, could have matched. But the poems in these books are not necessarily programatic: they cannot help but be amused, turned-on or drunk by the great intoxicants in the air.

 

I have also made a collection of my uncollected poems from 1987 to 2007 under title Omnibus Horribilis (2008)

 

A new chapbook is in the works, and I continue to publish in magazines and journals.

 

Influences are sometimes hard to identify: my favorite poets include Eliot, Auden, Yeats, Moore; Robert Herrick and Ben Jonson; Chaucer and Hoccleve; Tennyson and Milton; Homer, Ovid, Catullus; contemporary poets Paul Muldoon, Eilean ni Chuilleanain, Dilip Chitre, Geoffrey Hill, Naomi Shihab Nye.

 

  

 

Birth Place
Newport, RI 
Additional Information

READERS HAVE SAID: Good heavens! I'm rather surprised, having read a few of your poems, that the computer didn't self-combust. They're completely full of energy and impact. The one about the deity is incredible. It's absolutely acute about the sound of wood on tightened flesh `attracting' a deity. Compelling image. C. PALMER ************** He cannot help it. He is an Academic Animal. Like a rabid dog, the Animal travels from one institution of higher learning to another, often moving great distances, often traveling as part of a "clan." Once his urge to next sets in, he devours books (literally) and spooks impressionable minds (much like the Chupacabra) with ferocious hyperbole. He cannot be tamed. No, his his will to provoke (and indeed, to terrorize) is only quelled by the setting of the sun, comnbined with near mortal doses of Tennessee moonshine. Beware of the Academic Animal. Do not fall prey to the myth that he is to be pitied, that he is an endagered species of peace loving academics. Bat down your doors. Unplug your phpones. Smash your computer (if his "worm" has found its way there). Shield Olivia from his gaze. He is... he is... crazed! J. ESCAMILLA***************** Thomas, I have been reading and rereading and appreciating [Pandemonium] so much that I have to let you know. I share your outrage with Bush and the administration, but it's what you do with your anger and how you do it that I applaud. It's your style that makes me want to read other poems and see how you treat other subjects, with the same or a different style. I especially like your use of allusion, much of which I get and some I probably miss. Having taught American literature, of course I like "Goodman Ashcroft" with all its implications. Your use of traditional meter and rhyme (ballad style?) in "Those Feet" is so successful. For me the use of rhyme gives a light, mocking tone, but in a funny way it makes the impact of the poem even more deep and serious. You do a great job with Rummy in "Moloch," and "Surrender" is a sad but powerful end to the collection. A. BALDWIN********************* I am glad that your poems are on the world w w. Now the world will see that you are a dangerous man! C. WHITTINGTON ************************ I like "Ode to Corporal Punishment" -- especially apt reading for the day after the senate voted that habeas corpus doesn't apply to captives rotting in guatanamo bay. oy with the prisoner abuse. Also, as long as we're on the subject of your scribblings, I've been listening to "Martha" a lot on my IPod at the gym, and I just wanted to say how much I love that song. I've always liked it, but I didn't appreciate its full genius til now. I like the verse that goes "The old folks recognized his name / A clan from the mountainside / but the bloodline had gone sour / and all of the babies had died." Super creepy. I also like the simile "moaned just like a train." Tres evocative. Li3z *************************** I just got, and read, "Pandemonium." I loved it (Fascist hair is among the faves, natch). You are our Ambrose Bierce (not, on the evidence of the terrific "Asinus bellicus," our Pope). Keep at it--are you blogging these babes? It would be nice to think that they might some day make it to the desktop, electronic or actual, of the people in question. J. LEZRA *************************************** Animal! I love it. Wordslayer, you rock! ESCAMILLA

Contact Information
East Tennessee State University
Dept of English 
Johnson City TN 37614   US
Contact Author: Thomas H Crofts




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