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Michael Earl Craig on shoeing horses and COVID-19 times

Michael Earl Craig on shoeing horses and COVID-19 times

From the Montana poets and writers share what they're listening to, reading, and watching lately series
Michael Earl Craig

Michael Earl Craig is a poet and farrier near Livingston. His poetry collections include "Can You Relax in My House" (2002), "Yes, Master" (2006), "Thin Kimono" (2010), and "Talkativeness" (2014). His work has been included in multiple anthologies including 2014's The Best American Poetry.

What book are you currently reading? Is there a book you are looking forward to pulling off your shelf? What about one you’re eager to order?

I’m currently reading Matthew Zapruder’s latest book of poems Father’s Day, which is really good, and have been pulling all sorts of things off the shelf lately, Elizabeth Bishop and Tomas Tranströmer among them. A book I’m eager to read soon is Listen, Liberal by Thomas Frank, something a friend of mine has recently recommended.

What have you been listening to lately? What’s your go-to music and why?

Been listening to Aldous Harding a lot, and Blinky Bill’s Everyone’s Just Winging It and Other Fly Tales, both new discoveries for me, and a great and strange album by composer David Lang called The Loser. It’s Lang’s music to an opera he recently produced, based on Thomas Bernhard’s novel of the same name. Would make hypnotic scuba music and might even be good for gardening.

What shows or movies are you watching right now? Do you have a guilty pleasure that you’d admit to streaming online?

Recently I’ve watched Tiger King of course!! Loved it. And Bong Joon-ho’s Parasite. And Pedro Almodovar’s Pain and Glory.

Is there a poem that has become your go-to during this time, or one you just can’t get out of your head? Why?

Something about these COVID times made me think the other day of a Mary Ruefle poem called “Kiss of the Sun”—the geese all gone with the seas—and so I went and found it and read it four times on the couch.

What are you currently creating?

I’m just working on some poems, and shoeing horses when I can, and riding my bicycle a lot—dirt roads around here are dry and in great shape.


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The anthology features personal essays, fiction and poetry about the COVID-19 pandemic and will be available nationwide Aug. 4. Local authors including Craig Lancaster, Tami Haaland, Tim Cahill and Allen Morris Jones contributed to the anthology.

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