Monday, 15 March 2021

Alicia Wright : part four

What poets changed the way you thought about writing?

One night when I lived in Brooklyn I drew a hot bath and read C.D. Wright’s Steal Away from cover to cover, and I’m pretty sure I emerged a different person and poet. Natasha Trethewey showed me that the lyric present could also be in the historical past. Later, Ellen Bryant Voigt’s perhaps now legendary shift from form into wilder lines and rhythms also broadened my brain. Poets like M. NourbeSe Philip, Susan Howe, and Myung Mi Kim drew me closer to fragment’s power. The poets who are also your teachers change your thinking about writing, even if it’s just for a phase or course’s length: there’s that handful who never leave your inner dialogue. And my poet friends from my MFA changed everything about how I thought about writing, as they each think differently about it. To be in a writing program with others is to study, and if you’re lucky, love almost everything about each other, as your thinking and writing merge into living simultaneously. Some readings I’ve heard at Naropa have also deeply affected my thought. If you study anyone’s work enough, it changes you.

No comments:

Post a Comment