Arthur Turfa

Arthur Turfa

Although I have traveled far and wide, I am never far from the Monongahela Valley. I am a second-generation American; the Old Countries are never far from me. The wood, and hills, rivers and “cricks” have given me an appreciation for nature.

My high school years were spent near Philadelphia, which was my own immigration. While I still found woods, I had to learn about myself more. That process continued at Penn State. By then I was writing poetry, and did so, albeit with less frequency, until I went to my first Lutheran parish in Virginia.

Still, I read poetry. Auden, Eliot, Yeats, Rilke, Goethe (the latter two in the original German) remain important to me. I could read Baudelaire and Rimbaud in the original with lesser ease. Along the way I found other favorites.

About 14 years ago I started writing poems again, prompted by the picture now on the cover of Places and Times. During 2004-05 I was on military deployment in Germany. My dissertation research finished there, and by 2007 I switched gears from scholarly writing to poetry.

Some people wonder why I am not a “Christian writer’. Over the years I have delivered hundreds of sermons, and written dozens of columns or articles for newsletters. I regard myself as a writer who is a Christian more specifically a Lutheran who is at home with Anglicanism. Religious themes permeate my writing, but it is neither blatantly obvious nor confrontational.

While others may not wonder that I write, I seem to surprise some people, and in a good way, with what I write. That pleases me very much, I constantly explore the places and people who have helped me evolve not the person I became. Having been bi-vocational for decades, many experiences from my careers find their way into poems. A beautiful landscape, face, or moment will also find a way there also.

At this time in my life I reflect back on those who were important to me, especially as they pass away, and on the extraordinary good fortune I have enjoyed. Perhaps poetry is a way not only of giving thanks, but also of making good use of what I have.

My styles vary. Sometimes I rhyme, sometimes I do not. I have written sonnets, sonnet cycles, multiple-piece works, and shorter ones also. I try not to be beholden too much to style, but I do have strong preferences.

Right now I have enough for another book, perhaps two. I also enjoyed mentoring other poets and writers, largely because others have taken time with me. I intend to pass it on as long and as far as I can.


Lenka's List had the pleasure to publish this interview on: May 22nd, 2017

To a certain extent it was the authors I read and admired. Mann, Updike, Huxley, Faulkner and others. Additionally, there were some things I wanted to share with anyone who wanted to read. Eveyr so often sometime would tell me, "You have to write that down."

Click for full: Arthur Turfa Interview
Published Sort ascending Title
2017-06-19 Chancellor Helmut Kohl, RIP/ruhe im Frieden
2017-06-17 Market Tea Room and Country Store, W. Columbia, SC
2017-06-15 Bob Dylan's Nobel Prize Lecture
2017-06-14 Happy Belated Birthday, W.B. Yeats!
2017-06-12 "Accents" Signing! Have Tea with Me
2017-06-08 Soundcloud recording of a poem from "Accents"
2017-06-06 Hung Parliament, Now Minority Government
2017-06-05 Back to Alexandrines
2017-06-05 Thoughts from the other side of the Atlantic on the UK General Election
2017-06-03 Wonderful Birthday Present
2017-05-30 Shift Towards the East for Italy?
2017-05-26 A dangerous trend
2017-05-25 My Favorite Movies Collection
2017-05-23 Sir Roger Moore, RIP
2017-05-22 Two Soundcloud Recordings of Poems from "Accents"
2017-05-18 "Accents" Released Friday, 19 May
2017-05-17 JFK born 100 years ago today
2017-05-15 A Slight Break From "Accents"
2017-05-13 "Accents" released on 19 May
2017-05-10 "Accents" Trailer is Out!
2017-05-10 ATLANTIC Articles on Poets
2017-05-08 "Accents" available very soon! Officially, 19 May
2017-05-06 Perceptive and excellent review of "Places and Times"
2017-05-05 How "Accents" Came into Being
2017-05-02 commas Are Important!
2017-04-29 A Question for You
2017-04-28 Reading at Blythewood High School
2017-04-25 Look Who is at Number Four!
2017-04-22 Next year, "Accents" will be there, too!
2017-04-21 To Aiken, SC tomorrow...or, back to Aiken!
2017-04-19 From Ray Davies' New Album
2017-04-18 Cover Reveal for "Accents"
2017-04-15 "Accents" Cover Reveal This Tuesday
2017-04-13 Reading from "Accents" at Mind Gravy
2017-04-10 To Aiken, SC, agian!
2017-04-08 First time reading from "Accents"
2017-04-05 Preparing first reading list including some of "accents"
2017-04-03 Yevgeny Yevtushenko, RIP/Memory Eternal
2017-03-31 I Knew One Should Love the Woods
2017-03-27 Interview on Mz. Jetson about my KDP "Six Poems"
2017-03-26 Colin Dexter, RIP
2017-03-23 Chuck Barris, RIP
2017-03-21 In MUSED bellaonline again
2017-03-19 Nobel Laureate Derek Walcott Dies at 87
2017-03-18 The Greatest Writer Who Never Won a Nobel
2017-03-17 Happy St. Patrick's Day!
2017-03-15 Mother Divine Dies
2017-03-14 Quick Reminder About My Other Collections
2017-03-13 Superb Interpretation of a Poem by Irene Riz
2017-03-11 [no title]