Furius Out of Closet
Jan. 23, 2015
“I wrote a few poems in the early ‘70’s when I was in college. (Some of which I still think are pretty good.) In the late ‘80’s and in the ‘90’s, I wrote about 40 poems, and a non-fiction book entitled Genius Ignored: Rembrandt, Vermeer, Bach, Thoreau, Melville, Van Gogh, Nabokov, and Casablanca .
“In the early ‘90’s I tried to have these (print-)published, sending them to my few publishing contacts, and also blindly to other publishers. In doing so, I was faced with a quandary: if the poems were published under my name they would certainly become known to my employer and customers. I wanted to feel free to write as I pleased, without thinking about possible repercussions. And I didn’t want to be “famous”, with people invading my privacy. I decided to use a pseudonym: “Lucius Furius”.
“I needn’t have worried since it seemed that no one wanted to publish them anyway. I submitted them to a few contests, also to no avail.
“In the mid-‘90’s, just as I was despairing of publishing anything, the World Wide Web came along: a “democracy” in which anyone with a modicum of technical aptitude could put their writings out there…. The Web was inhabited mostly by “techies” in those days. I think I was relatively early in bringing up my poetry and art pages in 1997….
“I was still occasionally submitting my poems to contests and in 2004 managed to win the Short Grain Dramatic Monologue prize for “The Bushman Speaks”.
“In 2006, I print-self-published most of my poems under the title, Scraps of Faith: 54 Poems of Lucius Furius, sending copies to certain friends.
“Why have I chosen this particular time to reveal this secret? Because:
it seems there will be no hoard of strangers beating down my door, imposing on my time and privacy; and
it seems unlikely, at this point, that I will be writing things which need to be kept from my employer or customers. And I don’t believe that any of the existing poems on the website could really be considered objectionable."