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Blog posts by Matt Reimann

Reader, specializing in Twentieth Century and contemporary fiction. Committed to spreading an infectious passion for literature, language, and stories. Currently emplyed by ABAA firm Books Tell You Why, Inc.  



Chaucer’s Day Job

By Matt Reimann

Even when they're successful, some writers prefer to keep their day jobs. For example, Wallace Stevens was an executive at a Connecticut insurance company, and he believed that work kept the poetic spirit properly anchored. Goethe worked as an enthusiastic civil servant and administrator long after the smashing success of Young Werther. To this camp also belongs Geoffrey Chaucer, who stayed gainfully employed despite being a prolific poet. Chaucer's day job, however, was far from the typical cubical-and-office grind. He worked in the court of the King. Geoffrey Chaucer was born to a prosperous family. While no aristocrat, his father was a successful vintner and wine merchant. His mother inherited a large amount of property, including 24 shops, when her uncle died. The Chaucers would have been regarded as upper middle-class today, if not e... [more]

Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Paul Muldoon has been hailed by the Times Literary Supplement as “the most significant English-language poet born since the Second World War.” In addition to earning a bundle of superlatives, he is also a professor at Princeton University and the poetry editor at the New Yorker. He is musically inclined, and plays guitar in the rock band, The Wayside Shrines. He released a volume of lyrics called The Word on the Street in 2013. And, before his day jobs were entirely belletristic, he worked as a TV and radio producer for the BBC. It is probably not surprising that such an accomplished poet was precocious. As a university student in Belfast, he was taught by Nobel laureate and poet Seamus Heaney. The reality is a tad fuzzy — even Muldoon can't recall it precisely — but the legend goes that the young Muldo... [more]