Smartish Pace Editor Stephen Reichert nominated Laurel Hunt, and her poem "Glass," and D.M. Macormic, and his poem "Identity Theft," for Best New Poets 2017. SP nominations have won in ... [ read more ]
The Good Contrivance Farm Residency provides a 1200 square foot barn loft apartment on a small, historic farm in central Maryland, 25 miles north of Baltimore. It's run by our ... [ read more ]
Austin Tremblay, Smartish Pace Reading
Austin Tremblay reading for the Smartish Pace Issue 18 party at Cyclops in Baltimore on May 6, 2011. Introduction by SP Intern Jessica Yoo.
Traci O’Dea (Associate Editor, Smartish Pace): How has translating Sappho affected your own poetry?
Aaron Poochigian: I had always wanted each line of my poetry to be songlike and ravishing. Now, after having lived with Sappho for about two years, I have a better sense of what that means. But I should be more specific about her influence. Many of Sappho’s poems give the reader the impression that he or she is eavesdropping on a private conversation, as in the following fragment:As you are dear to me go find a youngerBed as your due.I can’t stand being the old one any longer,Living with you.I now readily slip into the conversational mode in my own work. Sappho, in fact, is credited with pioneering the “personal” in poetry, partly because she gives the reader this window into the intimate. She also makes frequent use of what I call “choral” expression—that is, the speaker as a first person plural “we” representing a group of people. I now often write poems in “group voices.” Perhaps the poem “The Marriage of Peleus and Thetis” is the best evidence of her influence on my work. The Marriage ... [ read more ]
The Comedic EffectA number of poets and critics, including Stephen Burt and Tony Hoagland, have recently sounded the death toll for what Burt has called "elliptical" poetry and Hoagland, "hip contemporary skittishness." Hoagland sees a return to autobiographical narrative of the 1980s, Burt, a renewed interest in the objectivism of Pound and Williams. Yet, while I think (and hope) that the worst of the elliptical poets will fade, others, whose work is less ... [ read more ]