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Quintessential Listening: Poetry - Bill Cushing

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Michael Anthony Ingram

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Bill Cushing lived in various states, the Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico before moving to California. As an undergrad, he was called the “blue collar” poet by classmates at the University of Central Florida because of his years in the Navy and later as an electrician on oil tankers, fishing boats, and other naval vessels before returning to college at 37. Earning an MFA in writing from Goddard College in Vermont, he now teaches at East Los Angeles and Mt. San Antonio colleges.

Bill has been published in various literary journals, magazines, and newspapers, including The San Juan Star and the Florida Times-Union. His short stories have appeared in Borfski Press, Newtown Literary Journal and Sediments. Bill’s poetry has been in numerous journals, both in print and online, including Avocet, Brownstone Review, Glomag, Mayo Review, Penumbra, Poetry Nook, Spectrum, The Song Is. . ., and West Trade Review. He had poems (one a Pushcart Prize nominee) in both volumes of the award-winning Stories of Music. In 2017, Bill was named as one of the Top Ten Poets of L.A., and this year Spectrum Publishing named him as one of the “ten poets to watch” in Los Angeles.

When not teaching or writing, Bill facilitates a writing workshop in Eagle Rock, California (part of the 9 Bridges Writing Community). He also performs with a musician in a project called “Notes and Letters,” a project that is available online through both Facebook and youtube. He is now in the pre-publication stages for a full-length volume of poems with Finishing Line Press, scheduled for release in mid-2019. That book is tentatively titled A Former Life

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