Monday, 22 April 2019

G. E. Schwartz : part one

G. E. Schwartz, born in Pottsville, Pennsylvania, 1958, lives in Upstate New York. He is the author of Only Others Are, World, Odd Fish, Thinking In Tongues and the upcoming Murmurations.

Photo credit: Caylin Schwartz

What are you working on?

I most always have three or even four projects on three or four burners at once. Right now: a long poem about the first Dutch exploration from Albany, New York (then Fort Orange), west to about the Mohawk River, Little Faust Goes to Hell, a multimedia work, which is being written to be produced and performed at an upcoming fringe festival, a novella about a small western New York rust-belt town in Trump's America, and a cycle of poems written as a calendar and inspired by the seasonal paintings of the painter Charles Burchfield.

Alexandre Ferrere : part four

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

There is a poem, perhaps the one which haunts me the most, by Robert Creeley entitled “I Know a Man”. I often come back to this poem, and especially to his own rendition of it, recorded for the Library of Congress.  There is an aura of mystery as well as an urgency in this wonderful recording that always transports me to an unknown place, in which I am nothing but thoughts. I also have on my nightstand an incredible (and famous) book by Hugh Kenner, “The Pound Era” which I am often returning to, and it never fails to inspire me. I also like to dive into anthologies, like Alan Kaufman’s The Outlaw Bible of American Poetry in which I have discovered d.a. levy, or, into the well-known Donald Allen’s The New American Poetry 1945-1960. Among novelists and short-stories writers, I often reread books or passages by Jack Kerouac or John Fante.

Sunday, 21 April 2019

Lucas Lejeune : part two

What poets changed the way you thought about writing?

Kenneth Goldsmith, and all the conceptual poets he represents, completely changed my view on writing in general. The way he formulates the ideas behind uncreative writing is very compelling to me. It seems perfectly relevant to this day and age. These ideas are pretty old and omnipresent nowadays, but he's first to articulate and illustrate them in such a radical way. To me, retyping every weather broadcast for a year or every word he said for a week are powerful poetic gestures. Many of my own are an extension of this peculiar, loving yet disrespectful attitude towards language itself. I, however, aspire to voluntarily add an element of lyricism in my work, which is why I would consider myself a post-conceptual writer. Goerges Perec and Oulipo in general are also great sources of inspiration for me.

Jennifer Kronovet : part one

Jennifer Kronovet is the author of two poetry collections, most recently The Wug Test (Ecco). She is the editor of Circumference Books, a press for poetry in translation. She co-translated two books of poetry, Empty Chairs by Chinese poet Liu Xia (with Ming Di) and The Acrobat by Yiddish writer Celia Dropkin (with Faith Jones and Samuel Solomon). She lives in Berlin, Germany.

What are you working on?

I’m writing a series of poems about an island here in Berlin called Peacock Island. I’m hoping that writing into this place can lead me deeper into a knot I’m stuck in—a knot of history. I’m also working on bringing a book I love into the world as the editor of Circumference Books, a new press for poetry in translation. This book is Camouflage, by Galician poet Lupe Gómez, translated by the amazing poet Erín Moure. Working with Érin, and with Dan Visel, the designer/programmer/developer with whom I run the press, has been a joy through and through. I’m so excited to hold this fantastic book in my hands. It’s at the printer now!

Saturday, 20 April 2019

Candice Wuehle : part three

Why is poetry important?

It makes room for slowness. I think most of the forces we get exposed to on a minute-by-minute basis encourage (or insist) on completion and product. We’re encouraged by the structure (most of us) live in to produce something packable, comprehensible, digestible. We’re always working towards the “end,” but poetry refuses that. First, because a poem is always evolving in relationship to the reader and the reader is always evolving in relationship to…everything. Second, because to even move towards comprehensibility, it’s necessary to think very slowly. I think the reason people resist engaging with poetry is the same reason poetry is important: it's practice in resisting perfection.

Friday, 19 April 2019

Juliet Cook : part four

What do you find most difficult about writing poetry?

Knowing when to end a poem.

Thursday, 18 April 2019

Fern G. Z. Carr : part three

How important is music to your poetry?

Music is exceptionally important to me as a poet.  Writing and music are all parts of a whole.  Poetry is music and music is poetry – rhythm, tone, dynamics, etc. They are just different means of expression.

As a long-time pianist and chorister, some of my work definitely has been influenced by music.  I was very honoured to have been nominated for a Pushcart Prize by The Worcester Review for my poem, "Cool Jazz".  I wrote that poem on a music staff so as to mimic a page of sheet music.