Sheldon Lee Compton is a short story writer, novelist, essayist, and poet from Kentucky. He is the author of seven books, most recently the novel Dysphoria (Cowboy Jamboree Press, 2019) and his third short story collection Absolute Invention (Secret History Books, 2019). He also believes baseball is our purest form of truth.
What are you working on?
Over the past year or so I’ve worked on prose poetry and what I’ve come to refer to as footnote poems. I stayed away from it for several months at one point. About a year ago a writer who I won’t name did a hate piece on me and two other writers I also won’t name. Among the vitriol thrown at me was that I should never try writing “modernist stanzas” again or Jean Toomer’s coffin would “bench press” me. The piece was actually really funny, but it hurt me and caused me to take a long look at whether or not I should be writing poetry at all. I hate how I let it get to me, and I’ve only recently regained some confidence. That’s more than you probably hoped to learn with this question, but I do think I’ll have a manuscript of prose poetry ready for publication soon. Maybe one for the footnote poems at some point.