Hannah VanderHart lives in Durham, North Carolina, under the pines. She has poetry, essays and reviews published in The Boston Globe, Kenyon Review, The American Poetry Review, AGNI and elsewhere. She is the author of the poetry collection What Pecan Light (Bull City Press, 2021).
Photo credit: Della Hethcox
What poets changed the way you thought about writing?
C.D. Wright showed me how disjunction and narrative work, and also showed me that I was a Southern poet in a way I had not acknowledged or understood for many years (you don’t see the water you swim in, or the language you have been discouraged from using, the accent you have been taught to harden over the years). Claudia Rankine taught me that hate and harm were personal—the power of the lyric I / the lyric we. Elizabeth Bishop showed me that describing the world is itself poetry: that poetry is attention. And long ago, e.e. cummings got me started by offering me language play, when I did not come from a particularly playful background, but from a sober and religious one. Linda Gregg made the world beautiful for me again.