C. Wade Bentley


Wade Bentley

Wade Bentley lives, teaches, and writes in Salt Lake City.  For a good time, he enjoys wandering the Wasatch Mountains and playing with his grandchildren. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Green Mountains Review, Cimarron Review, Best New Poets, New Ohio Review, Western Humanities Review, Rattle, Chicago Quarterly Review, Raleigh Review, Reunion: The Dallas Review, Pembroke Magazine, and New Orleans Review, among others. A full-length collection of his poems, What Is Mine, was published by Aldrich Press in early 2015.

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What’s your favorite bookstore?

My favorite bookstore, for decades now, has been The King’s English, in Salt Lake City. I once took my own children there, to wander from room to room and choose their favorite books. Siblings, nieces, and nephews have all received birthday and Christmas books from TKE, and now I love filling my grandchildren’s bookshelves with booky goodness. Over the years, I have spent countless hours sitting among the books, previewing my next purchases, sometimes holding the resident cat on my lap. I remember clearly one evening about twelve years ago, sitting in the poetry room, reading what other poets were writing, and resolving to finally take my own writing seriously and see what happened. What happened included the thrill, last year, of seeing my own collection of poetry sitting on those shelves and being asked to read some of my poems right there in my beloved The King’s English.

Tell us about your writing routine, if you have one.

I haven’t stuck to one writing routine, over the years. In earlier days, many drafts were drafted at my local coffee shop. How’s that for a cliche? In recent years, however, I’ve found that I’m able to write almost anywhere, at any time of day, using a pen, a phone, or a laptop. Once I have that image or first line or tidbit of conversation, the first draft tends to come quickly if it comes at all. Revision is my favorite part of the process. Once I feel that a central idea has emerged–the “magic” has happened–I enjoy picking at it, trying new words, new line endings, and almost always cutting away pieces of it to enhance the focus or strengthen connections that I hadn’t seen before. Then I leave it alone for a few days–long enough, I hope, for any delusions or sentimental attractions to fade.

Besides writing, what’s your passion?

Other than writing, my passions are hiking and spending time with my family–particularly children and grandchildren. I’m lucky enough to live just minutes away from the beautiful Wasatch mountains, and that is where you will find me, most weekends. I feel especially fortunate to have my father still able to accompany me on some of those hikes. Not surprisingly, my grandchildren have wormed their way into my heart and my poetry. One of my grandsons, William, believes that he is famous, now, because his name was mentioned in one of my published poems. I haven’t had the heart to tell him the limits of my fame in the poetry world.