There are many different ways to write a poem, if you’re so inclined. There’s the sonnet. Or, if you lean towards the bawdy, there’s the limerick. Or if you’re wordy and think of yourself in ancient Greek terms, there’s the two-volume epic.
But for Milwaukee poet Mark Zimmermann, the form that has captured his fancy for the last decade is the lipogram. It’s a form in which the poet chooses to omit certain letters – like writing a poem without the letter B, for example. Zimmermann took it one step further and wrote poems about people that used only the letters in their names.
His new collection, Impersonations, was 10 years in the making but Zimmermann says he's done with the lipogram...for now.
"I know there's more to write," he explains. "There's never a shortage of material. But by the time the book went to press I thought it was time to turn the page and see if I could write anything using the whole alphabet."
Zimmermann will read from Impersonations Thursday night at Boswell Book Company.