Tagg publishes first book of poetry
NORTH EAST, Md. – Infused with metaphors and symbolistic humor, Cecil College’s Nathanael Tagg provides an intriguing insight into his views of the world. These writings can are in his inaugural book of poetry entitled “Animal Virtue.”
“I am a big fan of metaphors and symbolism, but I don’t always know what the metaphors and symbols mean before I write the poem or even when I’m done. If I have done my jobs, there is a delicate balance of clarity and mystery so the reader can come up with their interpretation of what the themes might be,” said Tagg.
“Animal Virtue” was released this spring by WordTech Editions (www.wordtechweb.com) and is available through Barnes & Noble and Amazon.
The book features three sections showcasing Tagg’s creative range and his penchant for sonic play. Sections one and three are formally heterogeneous while section two contains sonnets, experimental poems, and ekphrastic poems. One of the sonnets defines “animal virtue” in fourteen ways that come into play throughout the book.
His works elude to current events a lot of times, but just with a few lines in each poem. The book features more than 40 writings with some of them focused on serious topics such as the Baltimore riots in “Delivery vs. Deliverance.”
“I am not one of these writers who think poetry should be about the ineffable, that it should be mysterious and avant-garde. I like writing about identifiable topics. I might know from the start that I am writing about love, but I am describing spiders. There is a poem called “Spider” that describes how the weaving of a web is like weaving the strings of love. They are both terrifying and intricate with the thoughts and emotions that go into the creation of these,” said Tagg.
He began writing poetry as a hobby while in grad school and got a few published. It was then that he realized he should take it more seriously. While finishing his Masters of Fine Arts degree at Rutgers University, the embers of “Animal Virtue” were ignited.
“No matter where I start. Eventually, my poems become something I hadn’t planned on, which is the fun part of writing. I don’t necessarily know where it is going and I make discoveries and surprise myself,” said Tagg.
Tagg is an Associate Professor of English who teaches Freshman Composition, Composition and Literature, Introduction to Creative Writing, and World Literature at Cecil College since 2015.