National Poetry Month Interviews

Posted by on Apr 18, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Hopefully you’ve been enjoying National Poetry Month so far! While the privilege of an entire month dedicated to the art is something we find to be vital, Spry believes that poetry should be celebrated every day. So, in honor of the art, we’d like to present you with some links to interviews with outstanding poets. Some of these interviews have been conducted by Spry staff, and others have been published on the websites of friends of Spry, namely Lunch Ticket and Redivider.

Be sure to keep checking Briefs for new poetry interviews that will take place throughout the year, and happy reading!

Featured in Spry

“I was told in graduate school, over and over, by the poets Anne Waldman and Ed Sanders, “All projects now!” Which was an evocation of the way William Blake worked—everything open on his desk at once—woodcuts, poems, all of it. …Maybe the way I work could be described as brief moments of really joyous creativity followed by eons of tedious editing.”
Behind the Words with Michelle Auerbach

“For me, sound and poems are intrinsically connected–there’s no separating them. So sound gets as much focus as content and image in my poems (sometimes more), and it’s often where I start writing a poem. …Music is a huge part of poetry, and it’s meant to be read aloud, so I’ve always seen sound as a necessary part of both processes–creation and revision–as well as the art itself.”
Behind the Words with Elizabeth Cooley
“For a time, I literally ate my books, I mean as in I compulsively ripped off the corners of the pages and ate them.  This mostly stopped around the time I was twenty when I learned that certain notorious torture regimes cut the flour in their prisons with paper, and people constipated to death on the resultant bread.”
Behind the Words with BD Fisher
“I believe that poetry needs to work on the assumption that it must give of itself, and give some kind of salve or balm or shock and soothe. I’m not in for the kinds of poems that bristle against any sense of engagement, that actively repel their readers; I want poems in general, and my poems in particular, to say over the shoulder of the reader “you’re not alone,” and give that kind of startle a friend gives when they approach you randomly from behind on the street and put their hand on your shoulder. And then I want my poems to say “let’s get a drink, talk about your life, what you saw today.”
Behind the Words with Conor Bracken

“Trusting the creative ebbs and flows is something that I have learned that I need to do, but that doesn’t necessarily make it easier. Some poems come quick like a lightning strike, and others I work on for years.”
From: Art Feature with Mary Wlodarski

“Just read. Then read more. Have a snack. Read again. Going back to those dead white men, I’m always picking up some Shakespeare or Donne or Herbert. Then, five minutes later, I’ll pick up an issue of Birmingham Poetry Review. I think the key is to just keep reading. ”
Behind the Words with Erica Dawson

From our Friends:

“Part of the nature of being a poet, part of the nature of being a writer, but also part of the nature of being an artist, is being porous, being open to stimulation and inspiration and finding in unlikely places connection with the human spirit, with your own longing for passion. So I find companionship, I guess, with the work of other artists who are doing the same thing, and frequently I find that musicians or visual artists have found a way to express an interpretation—or a distillation of a hitherto unarticulated thought—in a way that gives me a pathway into being able to articulate it in language whereas they’ve done it in sound or visually; I now have to render that in English, but they help me towards that direction.”

-From Lunch Ticket‘s Interview with Camille T. Dungy, Poet

“But when I force myself to slow down, to tap into another – I’d say, sometimes more frightening and sometimes insanely loving, but ultimately deeper – version of reality, that’s when the poems just land. That’s when the sky falls down and the wrong plants grow in my houseplants and the good words just come.”

-From Redivider‘s Interview with Poet Melissa Broder, August 2011



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