Martin Nakell

A Space of Poetry: An Interview With Douglas Messerli

Interview by Martin Nakell

Martin Nakell and Douglas Messerli, with Rebecca Goodman (2008)

Douglas and I agreed to limit the discussion that follows on his poetry. His prodigious output in nearly every genre of writing imaginable is legendary. It would take an unimaginable amount of time to discuss it all in one interview; that discussion would take up a prohibitive amount of space in a journal to print.

That turns out to have been a very right decision, for, with that constraint, we are able to hone in on some complicated issues significant to the most prescient writing practices of our time. And Douglas Messerli is among those at the very forefront, re-imagining poetry in the most abundant of excitements imaginable. Having been a reader, and lover, of Douglas’ work over many years, I learned things, saw things – nuances – in his poetry I hadn’t previously noticed, which gave me a more intimate awareness of the scope of his work, increasing my appreciation for the impact it makes. ‘Twas a lovely experience of engaging with the spirit of Douglas Messerli – his mind of poetry, his “space of poetry,” his energetic commitment to opening up the challenging and rewarding art of poetry – for which I thank Douglas. An experience I’m glad to share.
--Martin Nakell

Martin Nakell introduction

plus Kenyon College reading: Shadowtime and new poems & Poetry Place International Festival

Andre Auge (2017)

Martin Nakell’s introduction to my reading at Chapman University, April 25, 2022. With thanks to Mark Axelrod and the John Fowles Center for hosting.

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