Thursday, 20 September 2018

Lauren Brazeal : part two

What do you find most difficult about writing poetry?

Reconciling the narrative with image and syntax. I usually find one or the other when writing a poem: either the poem has a glitzy poshed-out language but doesn’t tell the necessary story, or it’s too direct, too prose-like. Finding the intersection where gorgeous language and story meet is always the goal. I’m happy to report it never gets easier.

Sarah Venart : part three

What do you feel poetry can accomplish that other forms can’t?

I love so many other forms of art and I use them to inform my work so I don’t want to hurt any feelings here, but I do like the conciseness a poem achieves.  Does that hold water?  Not really.  Conciseness isn’t married to poetry.  I guess line lengths and the sense of surprise with how a line ends - I appreciate that.  Also, how the words that I choose to end and begin a line can make someone think differently about that word or idea or what-have-you— that’s very cool. I like how succinct a poem’s surface can be while simultaneously holding this vast subtext.  But other forms master this too:  Photography. Instagram.  I’ll stop there!

Wednesday, 19 September 2018

Matty Layne Glasgow : part three

What are you working on?

I recently submitted the final revisions of my first collection of poems to my publisher, and that process has left me much more emotionally and creatively drained than I previously understood possible. deciduous qween will be out in May of 2019 with Red Hen Press, but most of my excitement remains shrouded in dread and anxiety, so I’m juggling a few projects depending on the day and my mood.

In terms of poetry, I’m writing more about Houston, particularly our environmental history: the construction of bayous, the ship channel, the toxic industries inherent to our community. There’s also a book-length project I did a great deal of research on over the past few years during my MFA that follows the life of a transgender soldier during the Mexican Revolution. It’s a story and an individual I have a great deal of love and respect for, but I still have a lot to work through to make sure I bring Amelio’s life to the page in an ethical way that is the artifact of queer world-making befitting of his life. I’m also working on a novel that is all about queer magic and the ghost of a drag queen who protects a forest under siege. Drag, ghosts, and trees are my holy trinity.

To maintain my sanity and for my own personal pleasure, I’ve been reveling in some queer erotica about my beloved Houston Astros too. It may never live in the world, but it’s a nice way for me to interrogate and deconstruct toxic masculinity by queering my hometown squad. Bottoms up! Or rather, “Batter up!” Whatever they say.

Tuesday, 18 September 2018

Robin Durnford : part four

How important is music to your poetry?

Music is central to my poetry. The music of language, that is. I feel very strongly that poetry should really need no accompaniment. The music should come from the sound of the words themselves, in their chosen order, and the syllables and the silences and the line breaks should make up the notes. Language itself is music. That’s poetry. The accents, the dialects, the combination of verbs and nouns, the rests leading up to intensity, the quietness, the noise of language. For me this is the struggle and the pleasure of poetry. For me form is a bit of a ruse, although I strongly admire those who make original music out of the frames that make up sonnets and villanelles and odes (although these days I often find them boring to the ear). I live for the sound of the language, of people’s voices, the way they talk when they don’t know anyone is listening. This was my childhood in the outports and quiet corners of Newfoundland. This is my poetry.

Micheline Maylor : part five

What poets changed the way you thought about writing?

            T. S. Eliot because of his musical lines. Seamus Heaney for what he does with history. Mary Rueffle. Billy Collins for his ability to speak of the ordinary with levity. Carolyn Forche for memorializing. Douglas Glover for being the best editor of prose. Agha Shaid Ali for bringing Ghazal forms to English. Jan Zwicky for metaphor. Patrick Lane for being the best editor of poetry. derek beaulieu because he forced me to reconsider what poetry is. . . so many reconsiderations. Reading itself is an act of reconsideration.

Monday, 17 September 2018

Jessica Morey-Collins : part nine

What other poetry books have you been reading lately? I’m currently reading Tarfia Faizullah’s Registers of Illuminated Villages, Hanif Abdurraqib’s They Can’t Kill Us Until They Kill Us, and Trances of the Blast by Mary Ruefle. Year two of Glass Poetry’s chapbook series also came in the mail recently, and I’m looking forward to digging in.

Sunday, 16 September 2018

Puneet Dutt : part five

When you require renewal, is there a particular poem or book that you return to? A particular author?

I like to pick up a new poetry anthology. Right now, I’m reading The Best American Poetry 2017.