Monday, May 18, 2009

Meet the Writer Cousins on WITS Podcast This Friday

Dennis S. Martin is my cousin, who lives in Baltimore, but I've only met him once in my entire life. That was last year when he and I both happened to be in Georgia visiting our families (his mom and my dad are siblings) at the same time. Although we hadn't met until recently, we have been email buddies for many years and our love for writing and poetry has connected us in a way that only written words can.

Dennis has been writing poetry for almost half a century (that kind of tells you how old he is!). In his 15 collections, which include more than 1,100 poems, he has broached nearly every subject imaginable. From the drowning angst of youth to the quiet reflection of aging, to the thoughtful projection of afterlife, no aspect of the human experience is left untouched.

(Shown in photo: Yvonne Perry and Dennis Martin)

In Rhythmic Notions, his latest collection, he has attempted a new approach. Every poem in the collection is actually a song lyric awaiting musical interpretation.

“People have always told me that my poetry is rhythmic and lyrical. I have written songs before, even written plays for musical adaptation," says Dennis. "But I had never tried to sit down and write a whole collection with the intention of making each piece a song. The tunes are in my head as I write. At times, I even have a specific musical artist in mind when I develop a lyric. But I am not a musician."

Rhythmic Notions contains 100 song poems and should be an interesting read for anyone who enjoys structured, rhythmic, rhyming poetry. Many of the poems in the collection tell a story of love lost, love fulfilled, or just a little snippet of everyday life. There is a little bit of everything for everybody. My personal favorite is "Let’s Get Naked and Run through the

It is with great pride and pleasure that I interview this prolific poetic cousin on my podcast this week. Here's a preview poem from his latest book:

You Saved Me Again

You saved me
Just when my life was spinning out of control.
You rushed right in
With understanding and a hand to hold.
You touched my heart
And showed me how it is to be a friend.
Oh, and now
In my lonely hour
You saved me again.

You touched me
In gentle ways that I have never known.
Down deep inside
It’s clear to see how much the feeling has grown.
I know it’s true
You’ll always be there when I need a friend.
And when I’m down
You’ll be around
To save me again.

In my darkest hour when all hope was lost
You were always there with me
Traveling the road, sharing every load,
Knowing this is how it’s always meant to be.

There will come a day
I can repay the kindness you have shown.
I’ll step right in
If you are feeling lost and alone.
I’ll prove to you
I’ve learned just what it means to be a friend.
Without regret
I won’t forget
How you saved me again and again and again.

If you are a musician wanting to work with Dennis on song collaboration, contact him on his blog at

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