Former Shows & Episodes

Word Patriots

Mark Seinfelt

Word Patriots – Dwight Riverbottum, First Among Equals

My guest this week on Word Patriots is “Dwight Riverbottum.” Dwight Riverbottum is the pen name of an author from Pittsburgh, currently living in NYC. The above sentence, Mr. Riverbottum has written me, “has always reflected the extent of the information I divulge.” He further states, “I can only imagine that this is the manner in which any and all who use pen names prefer to operate, so I hope that I’m not being problematic in making this request. I just want to talk about the work itself—not me.” I plan to honor Riverbottum’s request. The author will be speaking to us today in propria persona. I think that it is no coincidence that “Dwight Riverbottum” publishes poems in two distinct ways—both on the Internet. There are two entrances. One for the eye. One for the ear. One finds the written version of the poems on Riverbottum’s blog. Below each poem there is video clip from u-tube, a scene from a film, a commercial, a newscast that mirrors directly or indirectly the poem above it. The aural versions of the poems—recitations of the poems by Riverbottum himself—can be found on Soundcloud. Mr. Riverbottum’s poetry is genre bending. His poems seem part narrative, part confession, part aural experience. Riverbottom’s imagination gives birth to a new form. Several of his poems I would call short shorts—they remind me so of perfectly crafted miniature short stories. Riverbottom does have antecedents. I think of Walt Whitman’s free-flow of language, but I’m also reminded in a way of the Beats, of David Antin’s “talk poems,” of Bob Dylan’s “Last Thoughts on Woody Guthrie.” During the show, we learn that the author uses other pen names as well, that “Riverbottum” is only first among equals. If you would like to know more about my books, please visit my website: Also be sure to take a look at Riverbottum’s blog: and listen to his poetry readings at: