things of little relevance

but as a reader, you are asked to be as creative as the poet
March 17, 2009, 1:39 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

In Modern Poetry last semester, I had a wonderful TA, Lytton Smith, who magically transformed my inane comments into insightful points. He also happens to be a talented poet and blogger! In addition to a really interesting critique on contemporary poetry reviews, he recently interviewed poet Michael Schiavo (no not that one) about the writing process, AMERICA, publishing and etc:

“You can’t be a whole person and not be influenced by what you love. That’s the whole point, learning from others, in life or in art, internalizing the lessons, making them your own. But that’s what America is also. It’s so many things, some disparate, some similar, simultaneously, it’s its own thing. The genius of America is the contradiction, as we know. A land that touts the liberty of all yet was built on slavery and the forced removal of native peoples. Strike-breakers. Beating civil rights marchers. Yet, again, America is never complete, and it never will be. It’s the striving for perfection, not the attainment, which puts our greatness in motion. It’s stupid to say, “I can use this but I can’t use that,” in your poems. It always has been but especially in 2009. I’m lucky to be part of a generation that doesn’t have to deal with avant-garde v. School of Quietude battles, whatever that shit means. Let’s take two poets close by on my book shelf: love Donald Justice, love Kenneth Koch. I can take from everyone and make my own thing.”

part one and part deux

And a nice addendum.


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