Interviews

An Interview with Philip Schultz

By The Editors on 10.17.11

Last week we ran a brief excerpt from Philip Schultz’s new memoir, My Dyslexia. Today Schultz joins us to answer a few questions.

Q:Your new memoir, My Dyslexia, chronicles your discovery that you are dyslexic, something that you didn’t learn until well into your career as a poet. How did you come to realize you were dyslexic?

Philip Schultz:I found out when my son was diagnosed with it in the second grade, back in 2003. I was 58 years old and shocked to learn that all his symptoms were the same as mine, that there was a rational, medical, and scientific explanation for what I as well as others saw as my obdurate stupidity.

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Are Midwest Poets Overlooked?

By The Editors on 1.19.11

Poet Martín Espada (of Massachusetts) says yes in an interview with Verse Wisconsin:

“I think there’s a disadvantage for poets in terms of their recognition. If you don’t live on one of the coasts, it’s easy to be overlooked. There have been any number of writers from the Midwest who haven’t gotten their due because they happen to be, literally, stuck in the middle of the country.”

Read the complete conversation here. Look for Martín Espada’s next collection, The Trouble Ball, in April 2011.

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Lucky Life

An Interview with Gerald Stern

By The Editors on 9.17.10

Gerald Stern, the author of sixteen poetry collections, has won the National Book Award, the National Jewish Book Award, the Ruth Lilly Prize, and the Wallace Stevens Award, among others. In July, W. W. Norton published a collection of Stern’s best early work spanning four decades from 1965 to 1992. The following interview was conducted by Stephanie Smith on behalf of Poems Out Loud.

Q: When did you start writing poems?

Gerald Stern: I actually started to write poems when I was in high school though I never truly studied poetry or thought in any way of myself as a poet, whatever that was or might be.

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The Poems That Stick With Us

By The Editors on 7.16.10

This week we’ve been finding out a lot about how accomplished poets feel about their earliest published work. We’ve asked Beth Ann Fennelly, Eavan Boland, Linda Pastan, and Stephen Dunn what they think about their first book now and how they went about creating their first collection. Today, we simply wanted to find out which of their early poems still stick with them to this day. Here’s what they had to say:

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The Best Poems in Their Best Order

Four Poets Look Back on How They Assembled Their First Book

By The Editors on 7.15.10

Yesterday we asked four poets how the feel about the work they published years ago. Now, the same four poets tell us how they struggled to find the best order for the poems in their debut collection. The methods range from rudimentary to abstract, logical to magical. There seems to be no right way, but in each case the poet knew the moment it felt right. Here is Beth Ann Fennelly, Stephen Dunn, Eavan Boland, and Linda Pastan looking back on their first book of poetry.

 

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The Test of Time

Four Poets Look Back on Their Early Work

By The Editors on 7.14.10

The recent publication of Gerald Stern’s Early Collected Poems: 1965-1992 made us curious about how poets feel about their early work. Would they agree with Pericles when he said, “Time is the wisest counselor of all?” We got in touch with Beth Ann Fennelly, Eavan Boland, Linda Pastan, and Stephen Dunn and got the scoop on how they react to their early poetry now that a few years have passed.

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Interview with Malachi Black, Young Poet and Editor

By The Editors on 10.16.09

Just over two weeks ago we started a new series on Poems Out Loud called “Letter from a Young Poet” which aims to chronicle the experiences and insights of young poets as they find out what it means to call oneself a writer: from contests and rejections, to themes and obsessions, to what bids each of them to write. Now we are happy to bring you the second installment of the series in which we chat with Malachi Black, a recent winner of the 2009 Ruth Lilly Fellowship.

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Interview with Michael Rutherglen, Young Ambitious Poet

By The Editors on 9.28.09

Rainer Maria Rilke told the young poet “search for the reason that bids you write.” Now more than ever, writers must take this charge upon themselves. Dana Gioia asked, “can poetry matter?” and the hesitant response from those concerned, calling from the last century to this one, was we certainly hope so.

This interview is the first entry in a new topic we are starting on Poems Out Loud that we are calling “Letter from a Young Poet” in which we will chronicle the experiences and insights of young poets as they find out what it means to call oneself a writer: from contests and rejections, to themes and obsessions, to what bids each of them to write.

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A Field Guide to Getting Lost

A One-Question Interview with Nick Flynn

By Nick Flynn on 9.22.09

Nick Flynn, author of Another Bullshit Night in Suck City, has written a new memoir called The Ticking is the Bomb that will be in stores in January. Poems Out Loud got an early look at the new book and had the opportunity to ask Nick if he would participate in a one-question interview. He graciously agreed.

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An Interview with Poet Ravi Shankar

By Ravi Shankar on 9.16.09

This is a guest interview with Ravi Shankar by Nicole Lalime.

I have had the pleasure to both study under and work for poet Ravi Shankar at Central Connecticut State University. I took Ravi’s semester-long poetry workshop three years ago, and afterwards he asked me to help him finish piecing together what was at the time an anthology-in-progress, Language for a New Century. The anthology, which Ravi edited with poets Tina Chang and Nathalie Handal, was conceived as a rebuttal to the misrepresentation of the Middle East and Asia by the mass media after 9/11.

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