Charles Wright will be the next Poet Laureate, kicking off his tenure with a Sept. 25 reading of his work.
Wright has 24 poetry collections and two books of ... [ read more ]
From Smartish Pace, Issue 20
Carson Cistulli: “Young People Will Have White Hair”
Leah Falk: “Westview Cemetery”
Andrea Henchey: “The Moon Is So Smart”
Timothy Liu: “The Garden of ... [ read more ]
Bro. Yao, Smartish Pace Reading
Bro. Yao reading for Smartish Pace on the CityLit Stage at the Baltimore Book Festival on Sept. 29, 2012.
February 16, 2012Interview conducted in August 2011
Beyond Katrina blends personal and collective memories of an event that is not too long gone from the public eye, and is still current for those living on the Gulf Coast. What are the challenges of writing about something topical, even if it has personal resonance for you the writer?Natasha Trethewey: I think the biggest challenge that I faced with writing Beyond Katrina and that particular topic was that, as you said, it is in many ways ongoing for the people who are there, and it is also a thing of contested memory. Contested memory is the hardest part of it, because I found that I was dealing with people who wanted not only to be remembered, but people on the Mississippi Gulf Coast who felt like their story was being forgotten or being subjugated beneath the other story of New Orleans and the levee break. But I was also dealing with narratives from folks who wanted to remember the aftermath in different ways, I think, for political purposes. And so there was often a narrative of Mississippi as ... [ read more ]
In terms of both the geography and the straightforward diction in which his work is rooted, Jeffrey Bean is a very middle-of-the-U.S. poet—Michigan, Indiana, Iowa, Ohio—with a style that brings to mind early William Matthews. But Bean’s voice in his chapbook Girl Reading a Letter at an Open Window is very much his own. (Published this spring, it won the 2013 Cowles/Copperdome Chapbook Award.) The images and descriptions in Girl Reading a Letter at ... [ read more ]