I promise to keep it short. One page short.

My online poetry collection spans 2012 – 2021 with occasional pieces tossed in from my archives, going back to high school in the early ’70’s.

After retiring from the foreign service I worked on and off as a reference and instruction librarian, as a project archivist at a municipal repository, as an archivist consultant in a small town archives, as manuscripts librarian at a university research center and presently as a freelance contract archivist. Ever the bibliophile, going back to grad school in my late 50’s for an MSLIS was a challenge. Later, I completed docent training at the Library of Congress, where I lead tours a couple of weekends per month. In 2020, I started docent training at the National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC). Very intense training program, made more complicated by the pandemic lockdown. Good while it lasted. Casualty of COVID-19. May resume it later. May not. Perpetuam uitae, doctrina.

One more thing. Since 2018 I have led an August Wilson American Century Cycle study group in the OLLI (Osher Lifelong Learning Institute) program at American University. In 2020 and 2021 we met by ZOOM! Ten plays in ten weeks. Eleven, give or take. Writing plays is my newest passion. One down, many more to go. My wife, Filomena, keeps me on track through it all.

Writing poetry is my fun time, my moments of relief from the daily routine. I figured out that poetry has three dimensions: it is autobiographic; it is ethnographic, and it is metapoetic. That is, poetry reflects, sometimes unintentionally and sometimes unconsciously, the life events of the poet or writer, his immediate environment and state of mind, and, sometimes at a deep level of reflection, just what he or she thinks about poetry itself. I confess all three.

Enjoy the poems.

6 thoughts on “About

  1. Copyright Notice
    © Raymond Maxwell 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Raymond Maxwell with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


    Regarding Parody and Satire

    PRINCIPLE: Under fair use, a poet may adapt a poem or a portion of a poem in order to (1) offer a direct or indirect critique of that poem, its author, or its genre; (2) present a genuine homage to a poet or genre; or (3) hold up to ridicule a social, political, or cultural trend or phenomenon.

    Regarding Allusion, Remixing, Pastiche, Found Material, etc.

    PRINCIPLE: Under fair use, a poet may make use of quotations from existing poetry, literary prose, and non-literary material, if these quotations are re-presented in poetic forms that add value through significant imaginative or intellectual transformation, whether direct or (as in the case of poetry-generating software) indirect.

    Regarding Education

    PRINCIPLE: Under fair use, instructors at all levels who devote class time to teaching examples of published poetry may reproduce those poems fully or partially in their teaching materials and make them available to students using the conventional educational technologies most appropriate for their instructional purposes.

    Regarding Criticism and Illustration

    PRINCIPLE: Under fair use, a critic discussing a published poem or body of poetry may quote freely as justified by the critical purpose; likewise, a commentator may quote to exemplify or illuminate a cultural/historical phenomenon, and a visual artist may incorporate relevant quotations into his or her work.

    Regarding Epigraphs

    PRINCIPLE: Under fair use, an author may use brief quotations of poetry to introduce chapters and sections of a prose work or long poem, so long as there is an articulable relationship between the quotation and the content of the section in question.

    Regarding Online Use

    PRINCIPLE: Under fair use, an online resource (such as a blog or web site) may make examples of selected published poetry electronically available to the public, provided that the site also includes substantial additional cultural resources, including but not limited to critique or commentary, that contextualize or otherwise add value to the selections.

    Regarding Literary Performance

    PRINCIPLE: Under fair use, a person other than the poet may read a poem to a live audience, even in circumstances where the doctrine otherwise would not apply, if the context is (1) a reading in which the reader’s own work also is included, or (2) a reading primarily intended to celebrate the poet in question.


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