INTRODUCING, THIS YEARS CURRY POETRY CONTEST WINNER AND RUNNER UP, PETER PATAPIS AND TIM BARZDITIS!
WINNER: PETER PATAPIS
RUNNER UP: TIM BARZDITIS
My name is Tim Barzditis (27), and I’ve spent most of life in and around Virginia. Fredericksburg’s where I call home. I’m currently finishing up my MFA in Creative Writing at George Mason University, which is in Fairfax, VA. I’m also teaching a couple of undergrad courses at GMU, mostly intro to literature this semester, which has been great so far. We’re just about to wrap up Emily Wilson’s translation of The Odyssey and then move into Alyse Knorr’s Mega-City Redux.
A lot of what I’ve been working on for my MFA thesis/manuscript has been trying to explore the various personal relationships one can have with song and distance, whether that distance be literal or figurative, physical or emotional, or somewhere in between. Though I wouldn’t exactly call the content of poem “biographical,” my brother did move away a few years ago, and since then, the interactions we do have now, simple as they may be, feel far more significant now, whether it’s a text here or there, or, as the poem suggests, a letter. In the poem, I hoped to employ a dual-approach to the epistolary mode, using the “The Big Country” as the poem’s vehicle to explore what’s said and unsaid between the speaker and their brother.
Most of my energies have been channeled towards completing this project, but I’m interested to see where that will ultimately take my writing. Though this poem uses a Talking Heads song to help articulate itself, I’m constantly looking for other artists and musicians to integrate and explore in my writing. Talking Heads has a big influence for me, but I’ve also been playing with Madonna, Modest Mouse, Prince, and many others as I write.