Interviews

No form in mind

Paul Auster in conversation with George and Mary Oppen

Left: Paul Auster at the 2010 Brooklyn Book Festival. Photo by David Shankbone. Right: George and Mary Oppen in the 1970s, photographer unknown. Reproduced by permission of Linda Oppen.

Note: When Paul Auster in 1980 asked to interview his friend George Oppen, the poet agreed, but with a warning. “What worries me,” wrote Oppen, “is the question of whether or not I can say anything that I have not already said — And my own condition at this moment which is something alas, very like senility — I am not being very brilliant these days, and I have not written anything since Primitive.” Nevertheless, Auster flew to San Francisco in February 1981 and spent several days at the Oppens’ house on Polk Street recording George and Mary around their kitchen table.

Nearness with attitude

An interview with Andrew Maxwell

Photo of Andrew Maxwell (left) by Alan Bernheimer. Photo of Deborah Meadows (right) by Howard Stover.

I interviewed Andrew Maxwell by email at a thoughtful pace that extended from April to August 2015. As a frequenter of the Los Angeles–based Poetic Research Bureau, which he codirects, and as an avid reader of his work, I found the interview to illumine Andrew’s life and work: his philosophic dispositions, his recondite yet populist interests, and his consistent commitment to community through dissensus — a rare tolerance for disagreement.

Note: To celebrate the recent release of Andrew Maxwell’s Candor Is the Brightest Shield, I interviewed Andrew by email at a thoughtful pace that extended from April to August 2015. As a frequenter of the Los Angeles–based Poetic Research Bureau, which he codirects, and as an avid reader of his work, I found the interview to illumine Andrew’s life and work: his philosophic dispositions, his recondite yet populist interests, and his consistent commitment to community through dissensus — a rare tolerance for disagreement.

Poetic protocols

An interview with Craig Dworkin

Craig Dworkin (left) and James LaMarre (right).

Note: Craig Dworkin, author of Parse (Atelos, 2008), No Medium (MIT Press, 2013), and founding senior editor of Eclipse sat down with me on July 21, 2015 for a conversation in Salt Lake City as part of the one on one podcast series.

Impossible poems at invisible scales

An interview with Amy Catanzano

Note: In May 2015 Jace Brittain and Rachel Zavecz interviewed me about my third book, Starlight in Two Million: A Neo-Scientific Novella (Noemi Press, 2014). The book combines narrative fiction — in which three characters, two of whom are named for Greek concepts, join forces to stop a war — with lyric poetry, visual poetry, and memoir.

Robin Blaser in conversation with Leonard Schwartz

Robin Blaser (left) and Leonard Schwartz (right).

Note: This interview was transcribed by Michael Nardone from a radio interview originally conducted on November 24, 2003, on Cross-Cultural Poetics, KAOS 89.3 FM, Olympia, Washington. In this episode of Cross-Cultural Poetics (Episode #8: The Inferno), Canadian poet Robin Blaser discusses Dante’s Inferno in relation to the American-made “inferno” in Iraq.