Narrative Life: A Conversation about Autobiographical Writing with Cheston Knapp
Ideology for me is a loaded word that comes out of a New Critical language of received ideas that are not often interrogated. So I would hope that the essays work in pushing against ideology in the sense that an essay is irreducible from personal experience. In some ways, the more you are able to focus on one’s personal experience of a thing the more resistant you will be to ideology or reductive thinking of a thing.
“The Mantle of Daughter”: A Discussion of Ancestry with Nikky Finney
And so, I’m a daughter of Toni Morrison, though not bloodline; but kinship-wise, and culturally, we are akin. I have a responsibility—to not necessarily say what she has said about being a daughter but to recognize my place in that continuum and welcome other daughters of all cultures into that—because who celebrates that except your family?
Present: An Interview with Marie Howe
Don’t ever do anything that doesn’t have integrity . . . Authenticity as close as you can get it, as close as you can get it and never fudge it. Never blur it. Don’t try and make it pretty. Integrity: that’s the word.
A Hundred Cheerios Rise like Balloons: Carrie Fountain on the Writing of Motherhood
I think that we have to go forward and say, “I’m not going to wait for patriarchal structures to catch up to women poets.” We just have to go forward, and if they are not going to read us in the way that we deserve to be read, then it’s not worth our time in arguing.
To Lie Down in the Field of What We Do Not Know: Interrogations of Epistemology with Robert Wrigley
Human life is invested in epistemological difficulties—just finding your ass with both hands these days is a challenge. But I think that nature, if we involve ourselves in it, if we just spend time [deeply inhales] looking at trees, smelling rocks… I like to crawl, I like to lie down in the woods a lot, I do that a lot, which has made me famous to the animals and my neighbors too.
“Sleep With Your Rifle”: The Power of Writing from Trauma and Myth An Interview with Kim Barnes
So when I opened that back up, all the fear and pain and terror I should have been feeling then, but didn’t, came back on me. I was catatonic. My editor called me and said, “Kim, the book’s past due, honey. Where is it?” I said, “The manuscript, the hard copy, well… it’s in my trunk, and it’s bound in twine.” I couldn’t believe it. I was carrying it around hostage. Psychology 101.
Breaking the Borders of the Artist: An Interview with Fernando A. Flores
Whenever I’m writing, I have a “different brain.” As a writer, my main goal is to protect that first brain which is the first-draft-brain. And I just have to let this brain get from beginning to end. After that, I can do whatever I want with the page. That’s how I approach my work now.
The Art of Reconstruction: Cyrus Cassells in Conversation with Tyehimba Jess
First off, for me, sonnets are great for telling stories. A crown of sonnets can tell a great story. And I’m pretty much a storyteller. Secondly, folks in the 19th century loved sonnets. They dug Shakespeare, it was a familiar form. So, in a psychological or spiritual way for connecting with the people in the book, they were an avenue for making that happen.