A Magpie for Weird Words

By The Editors on 8.23.11

Cathy Park Hong talks bad accents, weird words, and Sergio Leone with Robyn Creswell in The Paris Review, whose summer issue contains poems from her collection, Engine Empire, forthcoming in June 2012.

“I grew up speaking two languages, both of them mangled, so I am quite at home mashing disparate languages, idioms, and vernaculars together. This is probably most evident in my second book, Dance Dance Revolution, where I tried to invent a Creole. Engine Empire is more disciplined, in that I tried to keep it to one colloquial per section. I love finding the most awkward or unpoetic forms of expression and turning them into high lyricism. I’m a magpie for weird words. It’s a good way to help ‘enlarge the English stock,’ as Hopkins once said.”

Read the rest of their conversation here.

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