Note: Lacking a tradition of investigative poetry in their cultures, Bolaňo and Sebald had to invent their own detectives. All this is neatly presented in his textbook for teaching Investigative Creative Writing. His working syllabus defines ICW as “a free-based collage that incorporates data, history, politics, images, quotes, references, and other bits of textual information, all bound together by a biased sense of humor”; a form good for “investigating monsters in our midst.” The prehistoric snout he uses for poking into old business.
Richard Blevins, from the Afterword
Mark Spitzer lived a life of monstrous passion, continuous inspiration, and constant fascination; but at 57 years, it wasn’t long enough. He published nearly forty books: most about fish and the environment, plus novels, memoirs, literary translations, creative writing pedagogy, and, of course, poetry. He was a creative writing professor at Truman State University in Missouri and the University of Central Arkansas where he designed and founded the Arkansas Writers MFA Workshop. He also edited the legendary Toad Suck Review, which evolved into the poetry series Toad Suck Éditions. Having lived in the American North, South, Midwest, and West, and having traveled as much of the world as possible, he spent the coda of his most epic poem (his own damn life) loving family and friends in historic Hyde Park, New York.