Thursday, March 12, 2015

Thursday's Three on Literature and Poetry

Today's post presents a trio of videos with, respectively, poets Kay Ryan, David St. John, and Rita Dove.

Kay Ryan, Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry from 2008 to 2010, is interviewed by poet and critic Dana Gioia, formerly director of the Harman-Eisner Program in the Arts, The Aspen Institute, and a former head of the National Endowment for the Arts. In talking with Gioia about her inability to resist poetry, Ryan says, "If I didn't have poetry, I would not have access to the most interesting part of my mind."

Read Gioia's essay, the first published about Ryan's work, which appeared in the winter 1998/99 issue of The Dark Horse magazine.

Ryan's most recent collection is The Best of It: New and Selected Poems (Grove Press, 2011).

✭ Widely published and the recipient of prestigious poetry prizes, David St. John, head of the English department at the University of Southern California, is interviewed for the PoetryLA Video Interview Series (the interviewer is Mariano Zaro), which features Southern California poets. St. John describes poems as being "like film, like cinema."

St. John has published at least 10 collections; the most recent are The Window (Arctos Press, 2014) and The Auroras (HarperCollins, 2012).

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✭ Recipient of a National Medal of Arts and numerous other honors, and a former U.S. Poet Laureate, a position she served for two terms, Rita Dove, talks with Bill Moyers about some of her selections for The Penguin Anthology of 20th Century American Poetry (Penguin Books, 2013). "Poets write about life," Dove tells Moyers, because they're living deep in life."

Dove's most recent collection is Sonata Mulattica: Poems (W.W. Norton, 2010).

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