Q: Can I perform your poems?
A: YES! Absolutely. I think that’s super awesome, and you have my extremely excited permission to do so. (And if you record it and send it to me, you will totally make my day.)
Q: Did you write all the poems on anthempoet.com?
A: Yes, they are all original pieces by me: Marty Dalton. I’ve had some help with the website so occasionally it will look like someone else “posted” a poem, but they’re all written by me.
Q: Are your poems published anywhere?
A: I don’t really understand this question, but I get an email at least once a day asking so here’s my answer/explanation… Published is a very official sounding word and I think it throws people off. In one way, yes, all my poems you can read on anthempoet.com are “published” right here on this website where the whole word can see. If you think about it, t’s hard to imagine anything more “published” than a website. BUT, I think what most people are trying to ask is: are these things in a book/newspaper/magazine or something more official? Some of them, yes. Most of them, no. If your stingy teacher says that a poem has to be published so you can use it in a forensics class or some stuck up judge at a poetry competition says, “Only published poems may be recited at this reading,” that is entirely silly and you should argue till you’re blue in the face about it and recite whatever poem you want and makes you happy. Where and how something is published is a silly thing to place value on. If you write a poem (or anything) and want to publish it, do so. Don’t let anyone tell you that it’s not really published, or you’re not really a writer etc. I’m on a bit of a soap box here, but you get the idea. If there’s absolutely no way around the rules and you’ve tried everything and flat-out need to know, here’s a list of all my poems and the years they were published in a printed format (book/magazine/newspaper/video/etcetera) : (2012 my book: Oh, Sleeper!) Tha Blue Tookans, Pareuhfrayz, Cawntents May Hav Shifted, Homeskooled Understanding, Love’s Uther Name, Seven Wurds, And Awl tha Wurds Love Me Win I’m Quiet, Resighcled, A Salm ov Regret and Psalvayshun, a poem to charm my Wife, Propain Pohits, Ryding on a Trane to Shikago, Werk, In a Grate Heeving Breth, Don’t Comfort Him, Jesus Wuz Baptized Awn Thursday, Duhpreshun, Fawl too the Grownd, Thee Instructshuns Wee Gladlee Aksept from Liars, Koviting Kums in a Kraowdead Konsurt, Ekstravagense, Push, A List ov Things Werth Staying Uhlive For, I and my Muther Wunn, Deeskripshuns ov Tha Owtsyde, Reecht Wyth Shaowting, Ann Uhpawlogee too Gawd and the Whurld, Tern Yore Bak Awn Toomawrow, Yoo Wud Nawt Wreckognyze Me, Tyuhls and String, Tha Old Kartawgrafer, Fybur Glass Lyon, Beeing Fownd Taystee, Herting Peepul, Tha Lowd Sawng, Kleer tha Payj, Karin, Trunks and Leevs, Mewzeeum Harts, Sirkle the Gayts, Keep it Pryvit, Gray Serpent, Tell the Fawksez, Awllwayz, Trooth withowt Spawtlites, Yoo Doo Nawt Look Lyke Un Owool; (2013 friend’s book: This Girl) A Very Long Poem
Q: Are you born after 1967?
A: I think this must come from some US poetry competition rulebook somewhere because it otherwise would be a very strange question for people to email me, but they do. All the time. Yes. I was born in 1987.
Q: I can only use a living poet’s piece in my competition, are you alive?
Q: Can you sign my school waiver so I can perform one of your poems?
A: I’m sorry but no I can’t. I just get too many emails to respond to them all with written permission. But consider permission granted for any poems I’ve written, anywhere you find them in the universe. I think it’s cool. You may recite my poems, perform my poems, put them to music, print them and hang them on your wall, whatever. Literally do whatever you want with them, with the exception of plagiarizing them. That wouldn’t be nice.
Q: Will you read my poems if I send them to you?
A: Definitely. But please be patient on a response!
Q: Would you visit my school/bar/charity/staged event and do some poems?
A: I would love to. Please use the contact me page and I’ll get in touch as soon as I can.
Hi, thanks for being interested enough in me to click on this page. That’s really nice of you.
So, about me: “If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you’ll probably want to know is where I was born, and what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied and all before they had me, and all that David Copperfield kind of crap, but I don’t feel like going into it, if you want to know the truth.” I’m playing, that’s all Holden Caulfield (Salinger). I’m not that mysterious at all.
Here’s the gist: I’m a big reader and writer, and by some kind of backward math that Jesus came up with I’m a recipient of unfathomable grace. This was not fair and I didn’t deserve it. And I still don’t understand it all. But I’m incredibly glad to have it. I try to act like I am receiving undeserved grace every day. That is I try to act thankful. Thankful that I can get up and breathe and go places and see things and write and meet amazing people. Oftentimes, I’m not very good at being thankful, but I’m trying.
I love writing almost as much as I love talking to people. So if you want to talk about writing, we will be fast friends. I especially like poetry, as you might’ve guessed. I fell in love with slam poetry late one night at a tiny coffee shop in Vermillion, South Dakota. Since then (and through the encouragement of other poets, English professors, and my wife) I started writing and performing poetry on a regular basis. After a few years of this (and many slams) I began to develop a little following through YouTube of more people who encouraged me to write and share my poetry. So I keep doing it.
More recently I’ve been promoting my debut novel all over the country. I’ve been visiting schools and talking to young students about doing awesome stuff like writing books and working hard and being kind. It’s pretty much the life.
Other things about me of varying importance:
1) I’m a huge movie buff. Whatever movie you’re talking about, I’ve probably seen it.
2) I’m an actor and an improv comedian. Certifiably so at The Second City in Chicago, IL.
3) Although my poems tend to be rather…heavy. Most everything is funny to me.
4) I’m also a novelist. My first book is called Captain Tomahawk and the Sky-Lion (Sep 2014). It’s my biggest metaphor yet, and the happiest thing I’ve ever written.
5) My poetry has been featured on NPR and Moody Radio a few times. (shameless bragging)
6) I know a whole bunch of other poets. Here are some that are excellent: the Sacrificial Poet Project.
7) I’m a pacifist.