Over the past three years, I’ve been listening to Steve Zultanski read the poems that now comprise his new book Agony. I’ve loved these poems since I first heard him read one in Summer 2010 at an event curated by Danny Snelson at the Ontological-Hysteric Theatre. In addition to his work, I always like to hear what Steve is thinking, his analysis of what’s happening in poetry. He can be quite provocative on the subject, surly even. We don’t always agree but his ideas are important, especially since he has the ears of many younger writers working today. This column provided me an opportunity to sit down with him to discuss both—his new book and what he senses on the poetic horizon. On Monday, January 14, I met Steve at OST Café on 12th and Avenue A, where we recorded what follows.
John Ashbery is a Kelly Writers House Fellow this season. Two events featuring him as a Fellow will be streamed live as webcasts.
1) On Monday, February 11, 2013, beginning at precisely 6:30 PM eastern time, J.A. will give a reading.
2) On Tuesday, February 12, 2013, beginning at precisely noon eastern time, I will interview J.A. and will moderate questions and comments from a live audience at the Kelly Writers House and a worldwide audience via webcast.
Footage shot by Nathaniel Dorsky at the Arboretum of Golden Gate Park, a few blocks from where the poet lived in the Sunset District of San Francisco. It is shot on 16mm Kodachrome. With Rakosi is his companion, Marilyn Kane. Be sure to have a look at and listen to PennSound's Carl Rakosi page. (The film is silent.)