About the Author

CW building

This is the blog of the poet, Christopher Woodman — you can click on his name for some of his published work and a Bio.

For his current writing you can go straight to the thread he’s working on right now, Why I Wrote How Bad is the Devil. You will see that the introductory post is fairly short, and that the main discussion follows in 57 Comments, some of which are fully developed essais in themselves.

On the left you will see listed 12 Recent Threads each involving months of discussion going all the way back to May 2011.

For a recent discussion of some of his unpublished work you can read either of the How Bad is the Devil? threads (March 20th 2016 and December 15th, 2015) or go back even further to  One for Sorrow, Two for Joy. For quicker access you can start here or, from a quite different angle, here . Most of the recent threads remain open, and you’d be welcome to add anything either as a specific ‘reply’ or as a general ‘comment’ at the end of a thread.

There’s autobiography all over the place, but you might enjoy this account in particular (do follow the instructions and click where you’re supposed to, for the accompaniment).

For more on where he lives in Chiang Mai, Northern Thailand, and the work he does there with his Thai doctor-wife, Homprang Chaleekanha, you can go to www.homprang.com

Photo C & H Darwin 2007……………………Christopher & Homprang in the Wind River Mountains.

Finally, here’s a whole YouTube video on Baan Hom Samunphrai — it was made by Sam Kalayanee, the Thai co-producer of the 2008 Documentary, ‘Burma VJ.’ Takes about 12 minutes (the best part is the meal at the end accompanied by the old crank-up gramophone. And none of it was planned, nor is anyone an actor!).

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…………………………A Note on the name, ‘Cowpattyhammer:’

This site has an odd history, not to mention an odd name. It started 7 years ago as an archive of Scarriet.com, a site which a small group of activists had set up six months before as an alternative to yet another site which had recently been started by The Poetry Foundation of America — ‘Blog: Harriet.’

In September 1st, 2009, four of the most active members of the Harriet community woke up to find that they could no longer access Harriet, and soon realized that they had been banned. They were Thomas Brady, East Coast U.S.A; Alan Cordle, West Coast U.S.A.; Desmond Swords, Dublin, Ireland; and myself, Christopher Woodman, Chiang Mai, Thailand.

Unknown to each other in person and from very different backgrounds and even continents, we had in common only our love of poetry and aversion to the special interests that distorted so much discussion of it in America at the time. We were followed in our exodus by a large number of regulars who also found the managerial style and “thumbs down” voting system at Harriet childish,  and in just six months Scarriet had established itself as a popular site all on its own.

Initially, Scarriet shadowed Harriet, and whenever new posts appeared at the latter you would  find an excerpt here, along with a discussion. Since the Scarriet commentary was far more interesting than the original, it began to dictate the whole pace and direction at Harriet, and indeed Scarriet became more popular than the site that had spawned it. The final irony was that Blog:Harriet abandoned commentary altogether on April 1st, 2010, a great loss to the poetry community in America.

Yes, the four of us were certainly  mavericks, and yes, we did speak out where angels hardly dared to whisper.  On the other hand, we always hoped that as we became more and more a force on our own, quite separate from Harriet or any other organ of the establishment, the ability to talk about poetry without fear or favor might be possible. We hoped we might recreate what we had so valued on Blog:Harriet in June and July 2009, an open forum free of rank and critical posturing, but unfortunately Scarriet stumbled on its own freedom. History repeated itself, and we ended up just as narrow-minded, cantankerous and intolerant as the community we were fleeing!

So I moved on. At 70 blogging hardly came naturally to me, and I found the increasing noise and insensitivity at Scarriet impossible to live with — you can read how my sense of frustration grew in the Posts for January and February 2010 in the Scarriet Archive, I felt so betrayed by what my on-line home had become.

This is why I began to distance myself from Scarriet in March 2010, and why, despite all the hope and effort I put into it everyday for 6 months, I parted company with it altogether in April.

And now, much to my amazement, another 6 years down the road and all of 76, I’m Cowpattyhammer!

Christopher Woodman

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  • For background on the name “Cowpattyhammer,” you can go here.
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  • If you are interested in exploring the Archive of Scarriet.com to April 11th, 2010, the various indexes down the left-hand margin may be helpful, the ‘Categories’ in particular. The most recent Scarriet thread is The Adoration of Anything You Think You Own is Fire (April 11th, 2010).
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  • You can now return to the Cowpattyhammer Homepage where you will find discussions on a variety of topics. You’d be very welcome to join in.