Best Local Poet - 2008
There's poetry in basketball, sure, but most people find it in the arc of a perfect free throw, not in a game of H-O-R-S-E. Those same people also don't find much poetry in mowing the lawn. Or in digging coins out of their pockets to pay the lip-pierced cashier at the convenience store. But these are the raw materials Richard Newman uses to craft his poetry, which, in a few clean lines, captures an entire world, full of complexity and absurdity and sadness. Newman has published four chapbooks and one full-length collection, most recently 24 Tall Boys: Dark Verse for Light Times, which came out last fall. He also edits River Styx, St. Louis' oldest literary magazine, and runs a monthly reading series at Duff's Restaurant. He plays basketball and drinks beer in the back yard and then he writes about it, because for Newman, real life and poetry are never far apart.