Genre: Poetry

Meet The Author

I grew up in Appleton Wisconsin, a medium sized city, as the middle kid in a family of five siblings. From an early age I was drawn to the interests of science, science fiction, and fantasy books. I remember well spending hours reading the encyclopedia set we had. I also developed an unfortunate habit of taking electronic things apart to see how they worked and then not being able to put them back together again. I loved climbing trees with my younger brother and generally exploring in the woods. When my mom got remarried and we lived in the country in Hortonville WI we had a whole five acres back yard with a small woods to play in. For awhile after High School I worked at various entry level jobs that did not really satisfy me except for one with the Wisconsin Conservation Corps which looking back I see was the funnest job I ever had. We built trails at the Gordon Bubolz Nature Preserve and other similar type places working together as a closely knit team. Feeling sort of aimless after High School I signed up for the navy rather impulsively. It was a challenge to adapt to that culture of obedience and I never really did but managed to survive in it and emerge with an honorable discharge. While stationed in the Navy at Everett, WA I discovered Conversation Cafes events which were groups of about five strangers getting together to talk about what was on their mind in an open and encouraging way. I also attended poetry jams and loved hearing the spoken word used in way that seems to bring the mind to a whole new level of thinking. There was also Socrates Cafe where a group of about fifteen to thirty people would get together and try to imitate the way Socrates would explore a topic with questions and logical argument. Shortly after my Navy enlistment of about five and half years I returned home to Appleton WI and then on another impulse attended college with the G.I. Bill at the University of Wisconsin Superior. The area is a very pretty place and it was very satisfying to engage in discussions with the small group in my political science classes. The professor was from Iran and had a lot of interesting stories and personality to add to the classes as well as knowledge. On another impulse to broaden my education I transferred to the University of Wisconsin Green Bay attracted in part by their broad approach to education and in part to be closer to Appleton, WI my hometown. About three years latter I graduated from there with a B.S. Degree in Public Administration and an emphasis on nonprofit management. I have been working at general entry level odd jobs since graduation. Shortly after moving to Green Bay I ran into a person very much into philosophical discussion, who shared a lot of my political views and who had done a lot of thoughtful writing. We became good friends and I became part of his circle of friends who liked to sit around and talk about philosophical and political topics. I started writing poetry as a way to express my opinions on stage and in writing about the time I moved to Green Bay. Latter with the help of a good friend well educated in writing as a part of his job and his education pursuit I developed an appreciation for what poetry could tell and teach me. I saw another side of writing. Writing as listening for and preserving great ideas that come from outside. I have since struggled to reconcile that with the desire to get the ideas and opinions inside me down on paper.

Instant Interview!

What do you like best about writing?

The tool it gives me for preserving and building upon a great insight or observation often arrived at when I'm going to sleep or hanging out with friends.

What do you admire most in books you read by other authors?

The way poets are able to take the ordinary and make it into something extraordinary and pleasurable to read. I think of the poem "The Lie" by Sir Walter Raleigh which taken on its surface would sound like one big complaint. The careful repetition and selection of words, sound, and variance in phrase however makes it into a pleasurable yet thought provoking commentary on a wide variety of issues.

Kenneth Appleton

Kenneth Appleton
The Examined Life:
From Close Up to Abstract,

by Kenneth Appleton,
$1.99

This collection starts out with poems about what the human experience is often like on a personal level and then moves outward to human life as it relates to the rest of nature, to dreams, and death. A part deals with human life in society and another with more abstract concepts of humanity that are philosophical. Poems are a combination of free verse and structured formats often modified. The structural type of poems represented are Sonnet, Sestina, Pantoum, Rondeau, and most often Villanelle. Appleton’s goal is always that they be just long enough to convey a single memorable and moving image, feeling, or thought.
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