Archive | Interviews

William Logan and the Role of the Poet-Critic

Interviewer’s Note: Born in 1950, William Logan is a professor of English at the University of Florida, where he teaches in the MFA program. He is the author of nine volumes of poetry and five books of criticism, including The Undiscovered Country, which won the National Book Critics Circle Award in Criticism. He has also […]

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D. H. Tracy and the Role of the Poet-Critic

This is the 10th installment in the “Role of the Poet-Critic” series, which includes interviews with Dana Gioia, William Logan, Adam Kirsch, Stephen Burt, Christian Wiman, Timothy Steele, William Jay Smith, and Rachel Hadas. Interviewer’s Note: D. H. Tracy is the author of a book of poems, Janet’s Cottage (St. Augustine’s Press, 2012), which won […]

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Joan Houlihan and the Role of the Poet-Critic

  This is the ninth installment in the “Role of the Poet-Critic” series, which includes interviews with Dana Gioia, William Logan, Adam Kirsch, Stephen Burt, Christian Wiman, Timothy Steele, William Jay Smith, and Rachel Hadas. Interviewer’s Note: Joan Houlihan is the author of four books of poetry: The Us (2009), The Mending Worm (2006), Hand-Held […]

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Rachel Hadas and the Role of the Poet-Critic

Interviewer’s Note: Born in New York City, Rachel Hadas was educated at Radcliffe College (Classics), The Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins (poetry), and Princeton (Comparative Literature), as well as by living on a Greek island for several years in the early 1970’s.  Since 1981 she has taught in the English Department of the Newark campus […]

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“Sleeping in a Hobo Jungle Can Be a Dangerous Thing”: A Conversation with Richard Wilbur

More than half a century has elapsed since Richard Wilbur, still prolific at 87, won his first Pulitzer Prize. The extraordinary qualities of that statement should be highlighted for readers who claim there are no incontrovertible giants on the American poetry scene. Wilbur’s most recent book, Collected Poems: 1943-2004, has prompted a widespread critical reassessment […]

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The First Confessionalist: Ernest Hilbert Interviews W. D. Snodgrass

“John Berryman took his place, but Berryman soon got into trouble—he got drunk and wrecked his room, and the police threw him out of town.”

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William Jay Smith and the Role of the Poet-Critic

William Jay Smith is the author of more than sixty books of poetry, children’s verse, literary criticism, memoirs, translations, and editor of several influential anthologies. From 1968 to 1970 he served as Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress (a post now called the Poet Laureate) and two of his twelve collections of poetry […]

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Celticly Wild, Teutonically Fussy

XJK: I like the sound of words and the fun of putting them together. When I first made fumbling attempts to write, I tried writing fiction too. I wrote extensive imitations of Tom Swift and the Hardy Boys, but those projects didn’t get anyplace. Actually, later on I wrote some science fiction for pulp magazines, two fantasy novels for children, and some stories in little magazines.

Posted in April 2008: X. J. Kennedy Special Issue, Featured, InterviewsComments (1)

Louis MacNeice: “His Own Unchanging Self”

An Interview with Jon Stallworthy Interview By: Sunil Iyengar Jon Stallworthy’s blood quickened after a poetry reading he gave earlier this year, not because he admired his own recitative powers, but because of something an audience member told him. This man, who turned out to be Stephen Spender’s nephew, had found a sheaf of letters […]

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“Yes, I used to drive with my eyes closed”: Ernest Hilbert Interviews Erica Dawson

EH: The architect Frank Lloyd Wright once wrote that “the truth is more important than the facts.” What does this statement mean to you?

ED: Because I readily admit that much of my book is autobiographical, my family likes to quibble about the details of some of the poems. Every time my parents are present for a reading of “Bees in the Attic,” for example, a discussion of the way “it really happened” always follows. Was the hive really right above my bed? Who discovered the noise first? I remind them of the idea of poetic license and we move on. Similarly, when my mom read “DrugFace” the first time, she was concerned, asking about what (again) “really happened.” I gave a similarly evasive answer, something like, “Yes, I used to drive with my eyes closed, but nobody’s ever asked me what’s my sign.” For me, much of the energy of a poem is in the details, but those details aren’t necessarily facts, though they are true to the situation of the poem and true to the feelings it invokes. In that way, all of “DrugFace” is as true, or as factual, to me as the actual night when I drove around Columbus, Ohio inebriated.

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