Like Everette Maddox, Grace Bauer, and Yusef Komunyakaa, among others, I was one of the poets associated with the Maple Leaf Bar literary scene in New Orleans in the late 1970s and 1980s. I am also associated with the New Formalist Movement in contemporary poetry, having been a faculty member of the West Chester Poetry Conference and winner of their Donald Justice Poetry Prize, although I prefer Barbara Crooker’s term “semi-formalist.” While I read and respect all types of poetry, my own poems strive to use rhyme and rhythm to engage the reader’s physical being as well as mind. As a former graduate student of Anne Sexton, I also cannot escape the influence of Confessionalism. While my poems begin in personal experience, they are not bounded by it. My poems often take up themes of the breakdown of modern relationships or the intersection of identity and place, with the cold, unforgiving North of my Irish Catholic girlhood and the warm, sensual South of my adult years figuring as the two poles of fate vs. free will, inescapable tragedy vs. redemption through an act of grace. I value accessibility in poetry and believe that, no matter how many more layers a poem may reveal upon re-readings, my poems should appeal upon first reading to a general reader, not just an audience of other poets. During my tenure as the Louisiana Poet Laureate (2011-2013), I actively worked to promote poetry and poets in libraries, schools, and community centers all over the state.
Julie Kane’s curriculum vitae is uploaded in the “Literaries” section.