blackbirdonline journalSpring 2023  Vol. 21  No.3

Introduction and Table of Contents

spacer Steve Scafidi
   The Junebugs

   Selections from The Magic Life  

A Conversation with Steve Scafidi
   Through the Window of Someone Like Me
    Includes embedded video of Scafidi
    reading four unpublished poems.

   The Lyric, Victrolas, Road Kills, and a Counter
     Muse: An Outtake

Brad Efford
   #305: Lucinda Williams, “Car Wheels on a
     Gravel Road”

  A link to Blackbird’s “Steve Scafidi Reading Loop” menu appears at the bottom of every page of related content. You may also return to this menu at any time by visiting Features. 

Steve Scafidi’s “The Junebugs,” as animated by Oddfellows, opens this reading loop; the animation is evidence of how powerfully a poem can be recast in a new media format while remaining faithful to the orginal text on the page.

“The Junebugs” was one of some three hundred Lincoln poems across three manuscripts by Scafidi: 1) The Magic Life; 2) And Bloody Death; 3) Of Abraham Lincoln. The poem is republished here under “Selections from The Magic Life,” along with a footnote restored from the original manuscript.

Though forty-five of these poems appeared in To the Bramble and the Briar (University of Arkansas Press, 2014), many remain unpublished. Selections here from The Magic Life include seven previously unpublished poems and two variants of poems—“The Junebugs” and “The Law”—that first appeared in Shenandoah.

The main body of the conversation with Scafidi, “Through the Window of Someone Like Me,” centers on the Lincoln project, the poet’s creative process, and what it means to live a life as a writer. Included are photographs of Scafidi’s journals and a video reading of four unpublished poems.

“The Lyric, Victrolas, Road Kills, and a Counter Muse: An Outtake,” a shorter “deleted scene” too interesting to leave on the cutting room floor, is also offered here.

Reprinted from The RS 500: Telling Stories in Stereo, Brad Efford’s essay “#305: Lucinda Williams, ‘Car Wheels on a Gravel Road,’” closes out the stack in a tribute to Claudia Emerson in which Steve Scafidi also makes an appearance.  end