Monday, December 12, 2016

Monday Muse: Recommended Reading

This is another in an occasional series that rounds up poetry-related interviews, essays, or features worth reading and perhaps even saving.

✭ Matthew Zapruder, "Poetry and Poets in a Time of Crisis", Literary Hub, December 6, 2016 ~ Matthew Zapruder has written four poetry collections, most recently Sun Bear (Copper Canyon, 2014), a 2015 Kessler Poetry Book Award Finalist. Next year, Ecco/Harper Collins will publish "Why Poetry" (August 15, 2017). Many readers know Zapruder via The New York Times's poetry column, which he edits.

Quotable Quote:

". . . To be continually surrounded by language used exclusively for utilitarian purposes is a threat to the disinterested yet sacred attention a poet must have to words. Also, poetry has an intimate, necessary relation with silence. The work of poets is impaired by too much noise and language, a scarcity of silence."

Matthew Zapruder Profiles at Academy of American Poets,  Poetry Foundation, and Poetry Society of America

Matthew Zapruder on FaceBook and Twitter

✭ Claire Schwartz, "Robin Coste Lewis: 'Black joy is my primary aesthetic.'" Literary Hub ~ Robin Coste Lewis received the 2015 National Book Award for Poetry (for Voyage of the Sable Venus). Schwartz's excellent interview was conducted in Los Angeles.

Quotable Quotes:

". . . It is difficult to explain the psychological damage of what it feels like never to see yourself reflected back in your world in any way, ever, . . . "

". . . Language is the supreme archive for me. . . ."

"I really feel that a lot of the problems we have as readers—and in our lives—is that we don't want to be uncomfortable. But I want to trigger you. . . If I'm not paying attention to the world, I'm not being a real poet."

Robin Coste Lewis Profiles at Academy of American PoetsPenguin/Random House, and Poetry Foundation

✭ Bernadette Darcy, "With Humanizing Poetry, Kim Garcia Questions Drone Warfare", The Heights ~ Garcia, who teaches creative writing at Boston College, has won numerous awards, including the 2015 White Pine Press Poetry Prize (for The Brighter House). Her publications include the recently published Drone (The Backwaters Press, September 2016).

Quotable Quote:

"I do with my students exactly what's worked for me. I teach my students to be consistent in writing in the morning, before anything else breaks in."

✭ Megan Garber, "Still, Poetry Will Rise", Atlantic Magazine ~ This is an excellent interview with Don Share, editor of Poetry magazine.

Kim Garcia on FaceBook

Quotable Quotes:

". . . Poets . . . have a sense for things that are in the air. . . ."

". . . great or unknown, poets are participating in what makes a difference in the world...."

". . . The poem is a catalyst where you're bringing two different kinds of people together. And at its best, when it works, there's a kind of spark, and everyone comes away illuminated by what the spark has ignited."

Don Share's Blog Squandermania and other foibles

✭ Kerri Arsenault, "Interview with a Gatekeeper: Wave Books' Matthew Zapruder", Literary Hub ~ An excellent in-depth interview with Zapruder, poet and writer, teacher, editor-at-large of Wave Books, and poetry editor at The New York Times.

Quotable Quotes:

". . . [Poetry editing is] like any other editing: you bring your understanding of what someone's doing in the work to their work and try to help move it in the direction. . . you help them be the best selves they can be as artists. . . ."

". . . our language has become so degraded that there's something about reading a poem, and if it's a really good poem—it brings precision and its attention to what things mean."

✭ Major Jackson and Mira Rosenthal, "'Every Poet Has to Be Lonely': A Conversation with Tomasz Rozycki and His Translators", World Literature Today ~ Rozycki is an award-winning poet, translator, and literary critic.

Quotable Quote:

". . . Every poet has to be lonely. It's a good position not to be considered part of a kind of narrative."

Tomasz Rozycki on FaceBook

✭ Kathleen Heil, "Pain doesn't hurt. Fear does: an interview with poet Gustavo Calderon", The Best American Poetry Blog ~ Gustavo Barrera Calderon, who grew up in Chile during the Pinochet regime, is the author of eight poetry collections.

Quotable Quotes:

". . . For me, writing is always a dialogue. . . ."

". . . I believe that art, poetry included, is a space of freedom and exploration, not a field for political battles or social recognition. . . ."

Some other recommended interviews or features are:

✭ Jessica Flynn, "How to Read and Talk About Poetry", Art Works Blog, National Endowment for the Arts, December 2, 2016

✭ Danielle Susi, "The Rumpus Interview with Gregory Pardlo", The Rumpus, November 30, 2016

✭ "8 Poets Share Their Favorite Words", Words at Play, Merriam-Webster

✭ Mary Jo Brooks, "A Poet Squeezes the Presidential Election Into a Clown Car", PBS NewsHour , November 28, 2016

✭ Lance Cleland, "Coastal Craft: Ada Limon", the Open Bar, November 28, 2016

✭ Derek Gromadski, "The Sunday Rumpus Interview: Shane McCrae", The Rumpus, November 27, 2016

✭ Boston Public Radio, "In the Wake of a Bitter Election, America Could Use More Poetry" (Interview with Richard Blanco), WGBH, November 22, 2016

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