Wednesday, 5 May 2021

Hannah VanderHart : part two

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

I’m a temperamental reader, and often wander through the house holding a stack of books. Jean Valentine has been renewing me lately—she is a poet who lets the gaps and the windows of logic into her poem, so that there is always room for the reader to wonder and think. Iris Murdoch’s novels are a great source of mental vacation for me, when I need to change genres. Or criticism/philosophy can function the same way for me: Wittgenstein, Simone Weil—recently, Robert Hass’s A Little Book on Form and Carl Phillip’s The Art of Daring. Interviews, too, are a great resource for reminding me how and why writers live and work in the world—I love The Paris Review’s interviews (the Toni Morrison, Kay Ryan and Geoffrey Hill interviews are three of my favorites), and podcasts with writers (Between the Covers, Commonplace Podcast, the Iris Murdoch podcast). We live by way of conversation.

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