Monday, January 10, 2005

Interview with Crag Hill

Tom Beckett: Crag, you recently published the 19th issue of your magazine, SCORE. Plans for number 20 are afoot. How have you managed to sustain that project for so long? And what are your thoughts about where the mag has been and where it is now going?

Crag Hill: I sustain the SCORE project (as you know, now named SPORE) because the project continues to sustain me. Maybe it has always been a selfish project, one that feeds me, that keeps me in contact, keeps me out of isolation, as a reader and writer, but I believe it does so, too, for its readers and for the writers it publishes. I actually took a three-year hiatus from the project, 1992-95. But having moved to the Palouse, five hours from Seattle, the nearest metro area with any kind of literary community I could relate to, and continuing to receive visual poetry in the mail from new poets deserving of an audience, I re-started the magazine with Spencer Selby.

SCORE began in 1983 to bridge a void. No one to our knowledge was printing visual poetry; no one was reading it. Visual poetry was on the margin of the margin that is poetry in American letters. Only one magazine then exclusively published visual poetry, KALDRON. (We actually didn’t know about Karl Kempton’s magazine until after our first issue. Another magazine we “found” after our first issue was MC, edited by David Cole, which among many a mail-art artifact, we found some compelling visual poetry, including our first exposure to Joel Lipman’s work.) Magazines we read and looked up to prior to publishing SCORE such as HILLS, GNOME BAKER, THIS, SOUP and others did not give visual poetry a second look or give their readers a first look of such work. Too simple? Too close to visual art? Though the means were different, the goals of a visual poem seemed similar to the goals of a poem by Barrett Watten or Clark Coolidge or Carla Harryman – focus on the material of langauge, what the poem says fused with how it’s saying it. In any case, it was clear we had to publish this kind of work or it could vanish.

Despite 19 issues of SCORE, despite 12 issues of GENERATOR and the work given life in numerous other publications, that void remains, both for visual poetry and for poets outside established circles. Though there are a lot more bridges one can cross now than in 1983, including in-print journals, webzines, blogs that give space to the visual poem (some bridges perhaps more tenuous than others) much interesting work does not get published or if it does it fails to get distributed, reviewed, given any footing with readers. The raison d’etre for SCORE still exists.

SCORE, as I mentioned above, is becoming SPORE (thanks to Bill DiMichele, co-editor of SCORE through issue 12, for the new name). The main reason: Starting with SCORE 16, an anthology of poems five lines or less, the magazine no longer exclusively printed visual poetry. It didn’t look like SCORE anymore. (I remember the look of bewilderment when I showed SCORE 17 to someone at Seattle’s NW Visual Poetry show a couple years ago; she wondered aloud what all this other stuff was printed around the visual poems.) A secondary reason: We passed up a ton of compelling prose and poetry, work that we knew would stimulate readers. I just couldn’t pass it up anymore.

So SCORE becomes SPORE, a magazine open to as many poetries it can find that meet my two absolutely subjective editorial criteria: does the work ask for and then reward multiple readings? If it gives up all its meaning in one reading, I’m less motivated to publish it. After all, I like to re-read the issues I publish. Privileging the difficult over the immediate accessible? Not necessarily so. The immediately accessible can also be difficult. I just think SPORE’s readers, like me, enjoy the pleasures of slow reading.

TB: Are you creating a lot of visually oriented poetry? Or is your writing now tending to be more lineated?

CH: Since first putting speculative pen to paper as a 17 year old, I’ve written more “lineated” poetry than prose, more prose than visual poetry, more visual poetry than sound poetry. But they’re all part of the same impulse to language the world, to make a world of language. Sometimes that world is linear, sometimes visual (multi/curvi/linear!), sometimes aural. Sometimes blank silence.

I have written fewer visual poems in the last ten years. Why? The process for each mode has always been different. For lineated poetry and prose, I warm up, willing to scribble pages for days to keep but a few words, a couple lines, the writing whelped, less inspiration than perspiration. Many of my visual poems, in contrast, arrive in mind’s eye virtually complete. I do little revision as I commit them to paper. I write them more sporadically yet this writing is more consuming, engaging my intellect and all my senses -- when I’m writing visual poems that’s all I’m writing.

I’m not sure why I’m seeing fewer visual poems. I’m aware of the rich array of electronic media, which one would think would enhance the potential of the visual (the ability to create work and have it reproduced inexpensively in color alone is something visual poets wet-dreamed of twenty years ago – In the 1980s I did an “edition” of ten copies of ten Trans-forms, hand-traced in color on vellum, which took weeks if not months to produce), but I’ve not been able to viscerally connect with that buzz, flash, animation…

TB: My feeling is that we’re being buried alive in images. Voices are what I want to see in poetry. I say see because I believe with Artaud that “…voices are in space, like objects.” I bump my head on them with some frequency. It makes me howl at high frequencies.

I’m wondering if you would speak in a little more depth about some of your feelings about the materiality, the object-ness of poetry in relation to your own practice?


CH: Simply put, word(‘)s matter. Arbitrary signs inadequately signifying, certainly, but they provide a place – physical, spatial in all its four dimensions -- to start to cross the resoundingly mute barriers between you and me. A word is matter that matters, a valued object I can give to you to do what you do with words. Sometimes it is all I have to give.


Perhaps I’ve been more a poet of the body than of the head (though I have also sought out projects, often involving chance-generation of text, to work against that tendency). I can’t wrap my head around my breath but I sure can wrap – and warp -- breath around my head. The logic of the poems I wrote for the most recent Sound Poetry Festival in Portland took a back seat to decisions based on sound, progressions of variations of previous words/phrases (e.g.”wrap” soon followed by “warp” or “word died” sounding out of “worried” in the sound poem “Worried”), aural punnings, swapped vowels, twisted consonants. What I said denotatively or connotatively in these poems was less important than what I was saying through sound, the poem’s effect directed less at the intellect than at the listener’s sense of touch. I wanted the performed poems to agitate the pores of the audience first and then their minds. This acceptance of the public reader as one who conveys a poem rather than the poem carrying itself is one way my work differs from many of the poets of the Language generation, my mentors in so many ways.

As a reader, too, I first attend to sound. If a poem has little resonance, I might not give it a second chance. I seek out poetry that stimulates body -- my increasingly bare scalp down through my belly -- and mind, or body-mind, because you can’t really separate them. A recent read, the poems in Harryette Mullen’s Muse & Drudge were pure physical-mental ecstasy, as were many of Steve Tills’ rants. On the more subtle side, the poems in Fanny Howe’s Gone were as richly textured in sound as in any other aspect. I re-read Clark Coolidge again and again because he can carry a “tune,” he can run and dance with a sonic trope, like few poets I listen to.

This leaning more on one sense than another, however, has its practical drawbacks. Much to my family’s frustration I’m utterly incapable of reading legal documents of any kind. I go numb when I try to read tax forms, insurance benefits, cell phone instructions... I mutter, sputter, pay anyone, anyone, to do that reading for me. The language of those documents has no life, no living, no presence. To prevent miscommunication they are far too stripped down, two dimensional. I prefer texts whose words are multifaceted, cutting, words communicating through denotation and a wide net of connotation, by their shape (think of a word you have always inexplicably loved the look of), and by the shape of their sound.

TB: We share an interest in ekphrasis (art inspired by other forms of art). In fact, you are planning a future issue of your magazine, SPORE, around poems about specific works of art. You’ve also recently published the poetry sequence, “Disappointed with Robert Creeley’s Poems in Response to 54 Drawings by Archie Rand, I Write My Own” . Would you please speak to this interest with specific reference to both of the just mentioned projects?

CH: William Carlos Williams’ Pictures from Brueghel and Other Poems is one of my favorite books of poetry. Williams enlivened a selection of Brueghel paintings, creating poems that are lively themselves. A synergy. He gets inside the poems, describing them from within while stepping outside the picture to comment on it, as in “The Parable of the Blind,” which ends “the faces are raised/as toward the light/there is no detail extraneous//to the composition one/follows the others stick /hand triumphant to disaster.” In the same period I first read Williams’ book, I enjoyed reading Frank O ‘Hara’s poems based on the work by his artist friends, a completely different take on writing in response to visual art. I rolled my eyes as my belly roiled with laughter on finishing “On Seeing Larry Rivers’ Washington Crossing the Delaware at the Museum of Modern Art: “Don’t shoot until, the white freedom glinting/on your gun barrel, you see the general fear.” I remember spending weeks then writing a poem a day – Ted Berrigan-like sonnets for the most part – in response to a book reproducing Van Gogh paintings.

Ekphrastic writing has been an ongoing interest as reader and writer. I’m always looking out of the corner of my eye for this intersection of art and writing. This summer on a woefully short visit to Moe’s in Berkeley, I panted over the small book of poems by Robert Creeley based on Archie Rand drawings. At first sight I loved the Rand drawings -- curious characters in various mundane pursuits, mythic creatures, surrealist, sketched, streaked, always unfinished but never incomplete. I was disappointed in the Creeley poems, however, slight quatrains neither animating nor illuminating the drawings and not lively in their own way either.

The disappointment aside, the drawings got me writing. While looking closely at the drawings, a phrase, a line would arise. In a rush, quatrains emerged virtually whole – I changed but a word or two. I hope the poems I’ve written match the unfinished yet complete quality of Rand’s drawings

The book also got me looking for more ekphrastic writing. Always on the lookout for a ways center issues of SPORE (formerly SCORE), I seized on the idea of dedicating an issue to ekphrastic writing. To my knowledge, there’s no magazine or anthology devoted to this kind of writing. I quickly realized I could never be comprehensive – there are thousands of pages of such writing (perhaps not as many pages of drawings and paintings illustrating writing, but an immense amount of work nonetheless), but I feel as with much of the work SCORE has done, it’s important to put one’s foot in the door, to start such an immense project if not to complete it.

While including as much recent ekphrastic writing as I can, with the bibliography I’ve been piecing together, started simply as a to-read list, a goal for SPORE 2.1 is to determine whether there are patterns in writing responding to visual art. I’ve noticed these three broad categories so far: writing that describes the painting, selecting details for poetic emphasis, with no outside, authorial intervention; writing that intervenes, gives voice, a monologue, a narrative, to the setting or subjects of the painting; and writing that begins with a visual quote from the painting but then that leaves it behind (as in O’Hara’s poem), the poem taking off from the painting.

TB: Many years ago ( it must have been around 1977) I, a rather brash 24, or so, year old , sent a recently published ekphrastic sequence to Guy Davenport and asked for his comments. Much to my amazement, he wrote back. I no longer have a copy of the poems in question , and I can't locate his response. What I remember him saying is that I'd described the paintings but hadn't inhabited them. That I'd worked from without, not from within. That stuck with me as a singularly useful piece of criticism. Writing should do more than dance upon the surface of things. It should engage the world.

How do you see word and world intersecting in terms of your work? Does a poet have any special social responsibility?


CH: Tom, I love Davenport’s notion of ekphrastic writing inhabiting the paintings it springs from. That’s what I’m looking for in such writing. That’s what I didn’t find in the Creeley sequence. That’s what I burn for for the SPORE project.

Dammit! If writing doesn’t exist to engage the world – if it doesn’t enrage it in some way, even if it’s only the storm of butterfly wings flashing in just one person’s imaginative wilderness – then why the hell does it breathe?

I initially answered your question before 11-2-2004 (a day I will remember alongside 9-11-01, though the degree and kind of pain may differ) with unwavering belief in the social efficacy of language, in the crucial socio-cultural responsibility of writers, especially those alert to the nuances, the in/certainties, of language. “We word therefore we are. Poets are the mind of language,” I wrote, “and it is that mind that gives us life…”

I read my answer late that night as I followed the election returns. I stumbled; I caved in; I flailed; I collapsed; I exploded; I deleted the naive shit (if shit can be accused of idealism, of hope, of intelligence, personal and communal, that can see through language ploy, political hype, diversion). If shit could only vote…

I deleted the words, the lyrics, of my answer, yet the beat survived, intensified, even when I tried to smother it.

The mind of language has to survive. It has to intensify.

The American political system has stolen our language. If at first it appears that the theft was nimble-fingered, injury-free, a quick hand lifting the wallet from our back pocket, then why the hell is my neck rubbed raw, whip-lashed, every joint in my back throbbing? Why are so many others speechless? The recent election “process” has yanked out our tongues or, if there’s any lingual vestige, it has punctured our ear drums, rendering them insensible to the rattle of deceit.

In this country, for writers, there has never been a more urgent time to write than now. (I wonder, what did writers who stayed in Nazi Germany do? Some died, I’d guess, sooner or later, for their resistance to national propaganda. I’d guess, too, that some acquiesced, allowed their own silence to roll over them, snuffing out their spirit.)

How can we avoid this silence, this sibilant kiss of death? I’m not yet sure how, but I’m certain poets need to grow a new tongue. Once grown, they need to put that wet, throbbing, slobbering new-born tongue into the public’s ear. Aroused, only then will we be ready to listen again.


TB: Well, it seems to me that one way in which you are trying to enliven your practice is to think out loud on your blog, Crag Hill's Poetry Scorecard. What are your thoughts about blogging at this point?

CH: Yow, didn’t know the scorecard blogging was so transparent! That thinking out loud usually had a draft or two behind it.

My blogging today mirrors my activity in the 1980s-early 1990s when I’d send out a piece of mail or two every day, literally hundreds per year for about ten years – a contribution to a mailart project (collage, photo, found object, altered object, visual poem, diatribe), copies of magazines and cassettes, a postcard telling a fellow artist of a project in the works, letters filled with drafts of poems, sketches, queries, praises, essays and gossip.

That postal whirlwind brought me correspondents – my audience -- from Florida (Bob Grumman), New York (David Cole, Geof Huth, Richard Kostelanetz, Bruce Andrews), Maine (Bern Porter), Ohio (Luigi-Bob Drake, John Byrum, John M. Bennett), Madison (Miekal And and Liz Was), Washington (Joe Keppler, Nico Vassilakis), Arizona (Mike Miskowski, Sheila Murphy), Canada (J.W. Curry, Greg Evason,), Italy (Vittore Baroni, Ruggero Maggi), Russia (Rea Nikonova, Serge Segay), Germany (Jurgen Olbrich), Yugoslavia (Nenad Bogdanovich) before its disintegration, Japan, Belgium, England (Bob Cobbing), France (Julien Blaine)… and many points and people in-between. Talk about enlivening! These writers and artist were my audience, the ears and eyes and hearts on the other side of the void (such was the life of a visual poet in l=a=n=g=u=a=g=e-dominated Bay Area). Can’t think of much else that energizes one to work like the kind of creative and thoughtful exchange I was a part of.

Blogging, too, has brought me those connections. I’ve connected with you, re-connected with Steve Tills and Jim McCrary, “met” Mark Young, Eileen Tabios, Chris Murray, Andrew Lundwall, Jukka-Pekka Kervinen, Kari Edwards, and so many others. Again, talk about enlivening, life-giving. Blogging – interaction between artist and audience, even in a form with limitations such as blogging (what form of communication doesn’t have a limitation, even love-making?) – is life-blood. In many ways, blogging has been even more satisfying – responses are almost immediate. Unlike mail and, for that matter, publication in journals and zines, blogging is potentially open to everyone with internet access (there’s an exhibitionist in all of us thinking someone we don’t know might come across an entry, read our thoughts). The audience then is both personal and exponential. That’s pretty enlivening stuff.

TB: I didn't mean to suggest that your blog entries aren't well thought out. But I do think a blog constitutes a funny kind of hybrid social space--straddling the public and private, the formal and informal, high and low, etc. A blog makes possible a kind of intimacy, in the manner of a diary or open notebook. A blog tends to be used as a soapbox, too, in a way that other literary platforms may not be. Political content often creeps in as part of the mix. Rants. It's the immediacy of the medium, I guess, that allows full reign for venting. I, for one, am still scratching my head about how to use blogs to best effect. How do you think blogging inflects your other writing? Is it an aid or a hindrance? Or a bit of both? Is blogging of a piece with that other work? Or does it exist on a different level? Do you see yourself continuing with your Scorecard into the indefinite future?

CH: I’ve always had a political streak in my notebooks. For the most part that’s where those streaks have stayed, locked up in their little cardboard cans, dated, past their prime shelf time. Alas, among other things, I’ve always wanted to be an editorial cartoonist, if I could only draw.

Via the As/Is blog I realized I could be an editorial blogger. Thanks to Eileen Tabios, Mark Young, Rachel Kendrick and others, I got hooked by haynaku. Form and content fused: first line, one word declaration, jab, followed by a two word line, a slash an elaboration, capped off by a three word exclamatory thrust of the body and soul. Haynaku whelped the shapeless rants of my notebooks. The form honed, sharpened, the rage, made my points pointed. Just what I was looking for without ever looking for it. These politically-charged haynaku, posted invariably at the end of our ever-increasingly political days, generated immediate response/s. Blogging, in the last year especially, then, has nudged political writing to the surface.

But has the medium inflected my writing? Has it changed it as other media has? Not yet, but I keep pondering, as you do, too, in your eloquent question, the possibilities of Blog. The program foregrounds the most recent entry, giving it some narrative bending potential – i.e. reading the end of a story, a poem, a rant, first, then scrolling down to the beginning, much like the unrolling of our personal experiences. I’ve been thinking of ways to take advantage of that programming. The main drawback: are there any blog readers who read below the first two-three entries they encounter on a blog? How to entice someone to read deep into the archives….? Other than that I think blogging is an electronic version of media that’s existed for millennia. Bells and whistles...

However, I’ll continue Scorecard for the foreseeable future. I love the writers and readers it’s brought me here, north-central Idaho, five twisting, climbing hours from any literary community I can learn from. Clicking on “Publish Entry” sure beats driving ice-patched roads blowing with snow.

TB: I want to linger for a moment on the subject of the hay(na)ku. Since that stepped-tercet form first burst from Eileen Tabios' forehead its many-hued offspring have proliferated on blogs around the world. It is a seductive form--compressed, notational, notional, sketchy. It is a form, in its immediacy of expression, that seems made for cyberspace. Truthfully, I have a love-hate relationship with hay(na)ku--it is such a seductive template. One can, if one is somewhat compulsive--and what artist isn't somewhat compulsive--walk around counting words in one's head all day. It's fascinating but limiting too. I'm nattering here by way of eliciting whatever else you might feel compelled to say about hay(na)ku, and I'm specifically interested in knowing if the form is only something you do for cyberspace. I'm just very curious about how people are juggling the cyberspace and print media now. Is the distinction even relevant?

CH: I, too, have a love-hate relationship with haynaku. Unlike other poetic forms, e.g. sonnet, haynaku’s more flexible, fluid, structured yet free of predetermined meter, rhyme, or closure. I can’t think of much else more seductive than flexibility and fluidity within a familiar structure.

But I sense the form’s limitations so far manifested: as with haiku, haynaku have a preponderance of immediacy, flash of image, quip, aphorism, over depth, one thought tugged down the stairs.

To date I’ve written haynaku exclusively for cyberspace. Would I include haynaku in a print collection of my poetry? It remains to be seen.

I know I need to see the body of haynaku accumulating, aka the anthology in progress/process by Mark Young and Jean Vengua, before I say much more of the form, yet it has been a pleasure to witness the birth of haynaku (how the heaven did Eileen Tabios push this form into existence), to observe its infancy, its stumbling, skipping toddler, wondering what its adolescence will unfold.

TB: Yeah, I can't wait for the tyke to hit puberty. Personally, I'm looking forward to hay(na)ku with raging hormones.

More broadly, Crag, what senses of form, senses of limit figure for you in your writing--or writing in general?


CH: Form follows content, I’d argue, but doesn’t chase after it. Form nips on content’s heels. Yet as we know through the work of John Cage, Jackson MacLow, Ron Silliman, and other writers who have incorporated pre-determined forms in their writing, content can be challenged – content can be changed -- to follow in form’s footsteps. Whichever comes first, ultimately, they dance the dance together.

As reader and writer, I sprawl and roam. My thoughts race on- and off-road. I need form to give them direction, a place, a room, doors, windows, a floor and ceiling, cracks in the wall, furniture. Yet in the writing process I’m also prone to over-editing in my head, constricting the flow to the order one part of me demands into existence.

Depending on the goal of a project, I enter a poem through a chosen form or I allow the content to spill, with no form in mind (no thought of beginning or end), ready to put it into shape when the rush subsides. One recent project, “7 x 7,” started as we were marching – thumping – toward war in Iraq, began with the idea to write one poem per week for a year, one stanza per day, each poem comprised of seven stanzas written during the span of the week, starting with one line on Sunday and finishing with seven lines the following Saturday. I knew I had to have the form in place to contain the disparate content, writing based on or selected from seven different sources including poetry and prose from my notebook, quotes from my reading, quotes from newspapers, magazines, websites, and transcriptions from television and radio broadcasts. Each day, by the draw of a card, I chose the source of the stanza for that day (Ace = poetry from my notebook; Deuce = prose from my notebook; 3 = quotes from my reading, etc.). I sought a form to channel what the breadth of my experience and emotions during that time.

Looking at recently published work, however, I’ve been leaning heavily toward determining the form before the content. In “Disappointed with Robert Creeley’s Poems in Response to 54 Drawings by Archie Rand, I Write My Own,” I knew every poem would be a quatrain. Haynaku provides a pattern my political barbs have fallen lock-step into. I suspect my need for order pushes its way into my work even when I try to circumvent it.

It’s also a reflection of the time constraints I feel as a father and a teacher during the school year. I can’t predict from one day until the next when I will have time for writing (and for reading, for that matter). It’s difficult to sustain the momentum needed to write a longer prose piece, even a book review. So I develop writing ideas – forms -- through which a work can be built piece by piece by piece over time.

TB: One last, two-part, question-- (a) what worries you most about the current poetry environment, and (b) what do you find to be most encouraging/exciting about the current poetry environment?

CH: Let’s start with the positive. I find the on-line availability of poetry encouraging. Residing five hours from Seattle, the nearest city where I can find someone who reads the poetry I read, I’m starved for poetry. Now, thanks to blogs and listservs and websites, I can get my hands on the poetry that sustains me as a reader and writer. I’m encouraged that poets and editors and publishers have tapped into new media, increasing the venues, the avenues of delivery. When I lived in the Bay Area, I met new poets primarily at poetry readings or print journals; now I meet most of the poets I read via the internet, reading their work on-line or purchasing their books via their or their publisher’s websites (Small Press Distribution, for all the vital work it has done, doesn’t/can’t do it all).

Believe it or not, I know poets and readers of poetry even more isolated than me (after all, I live in a university town, albeit small). I’m encouraged that poets and poetry readers everywhere have an assortment of poetry readily obtainable to choose from. They’ve just got to look.

I worry that there are fewer and fewer readers who want to look, to leaf through bookstores seething with books, to linger in the stacks of libraries, to seek out a way of looking at the world through language that shakes the mental foundations they live upon. I worry about poets and editors who do not read poetry outside their established circles. I worry about poets who do not read. I worry that as poets skirmish among themselves they lose potential readers of poetry. I witnessed some of the poetry wars in the Bay Area – Poetry Flash commentators versus Language poets, in particular – and the continual battles on various listservs over territory that’s about the size of a postage stamp. I worry that these petty battles result in more poets' ostensible deaths as writers than any other cause.

But let’s balance those worries with one last positive: Another encouraging thing about poetry is that the postage stamp territory of poetry still exists, breathes, promises. Poetry may be a wilderness reserve, a place too rocky or snow-bound to use/abuse commercially, but that reserve, that international park, maintains what fresh air our language possesses.

9 Comments:

Blogger EILEEN said...

What a fabulous read. So many things I can say but I'm writing briefly/quickly though I'm halfway out the door otherwise my forehead might burst again. I just want to say for now that I'm spreading the word on this interview within the Filipino global writing community ... in part because your discussion of hay(na)ku would be refreshing to some of us who've also often addressed issues of the Western influence on Filipino writing -- at least the hay(na)ku aspect of this interview helps create a circle. Circles are nice.

The head all a-circle,
Eileen

8:04 AM  
Blogger Okir said...

I agree, I agree -- this is a really fascinating in-depth interview that will reward re-reading. Thanks for this...

jean

8:48 AM  
Blogger Jordan said...

I agree with wanting your audience to be well aware that some of the best poems are those that are taken in through many sittings or through the individual experiments one does to expand the indeterminacy of meaning found accompanying the poem. Especially noted, was the term "slow reading", which when applied to the kind of poetry you discuss, I think adds to the maieutic properties that helps in the creation of other poems.

11:22 AM  
Blogger Geof Huth said...

Tom,

What a great surprise. Crag, some great ideas in progress here. A great interview. Great opening, guys!

Geof

6:24 PM  
Blogger Steve said...

Wow, youse two! If ya sustain this blog beyond this superb initial blast of intelligence and zest, you'll be starting a new revolution. Great goings, Tom and Crag! Got a beauty here, indeed! Super cool interview!

:) Steve

6:30 PM  
Blogger chris said...

Hey, Tom, Crag, and Y'all--

A fascinating interview--so glad to see it. Keep on with the new good stuff!

Best Wishes,
Chris Murray

8:03 PM  
Blogger richard lopez said...

absolutely necessary interview! wonderful, brilliant and timely. tho I too worry about poets who don't read outside their modes, styles, of writing, and whether beginning writers who don't love to make discoveries in libraries and bookstores. but books manage to find their readers, methinks. just recently I watched the first hour of the documentary _derrida_ and loved the sumptious images of the philosopher working in his study surrounded by books. cuz, that night Anna, Nicholas and I slept in the backroom, my studio as it were, and it was a gorgeous feeling sleeping among my books on shelves and in stacks all around us.

5:34 PM  
Blogger postpran said...

Fascinating, stellar interview. I will certainly check back often. Thank you for starting this. Great blog title by the way.

cheers,
Marcus Slease

6:28 PM  
Blogger Steve said...

Wow, 2005 (SEVEN YEARS AGO, NOW), there was so much thoroughly nourishing community we "engaged" in, engaged our "selves" in, engaged in "the WoRlD," etc., blah blah.

I'll tell ya'll, those were truly some of the most exciting and rewarding years (of reading and writing) I've ever had.

I really appreciate every single one of you here in the Comments sections whom I met (and who "mirrored" back to me some energy and "life" that I needed to make my writing more public and my writing-selves FEEL alive and "well"). :) Steve

6:44 PM  

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