Jamie D’Agostino, English professor and poet, is fond of notebooks. He writes down titles of poems, images and details of people and objects. D’Agostino also likes to eavesdrop and jot down stray, out-of-context fragments to capture ideas for future poems. It is out of these notebooks that D’Agostino’s poetry is born, including his latest book, “Weathermanic.”
D’Agostino mainly writes poems that record a particular landscape at a particular time, like an autumn drive from Kirksville to Iowa City. D’Agostino also likes to incorporate music and images into his work. D’Agostino describes his poetry as someone looking at stuff, mistaking it for other stuff, and then writing about those observations and building up sounds and playing with patterns.
“I’m someone who wishes they were a painter,” D’Agostino said. “Someone who wishes they were a musician. I found poetry which lets me pretend both talents are there.”
It took several years for D’Agostino to learn how to write place poems. He was in Chicago when he first started writing poetry as a student at Loyola University. He said it was a struggle to pierce the fog and add details about the place around him. Now teaching at Truman State University for 12 years, he finds that it is an ideal place to write because there is a lot of looking to be done in a rural place. D’Agostino likes the challenge of trying to find new things to see in a familiar landscape.
“There are so many beautiful spots around here that I feel like it’s a really reliable source of images,” D’Agostino said.
D’Agostino will read selected poems from “Weathermanic” at 6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 13 in the Baldwin Hall Little Theater.
For more, pick up a copy of The Index on Thursday, Sept. 13.