Davy Knittle with Rodney Koeneke

PennSound podcast #69

Photo of Davy Knittle (left) by Kelly Writers House staff; photo of Rodney Koeneke (right) by Anna Daedalus.


In September 2018 Davy Knittle hosted poet Rodney Koeneke in the Wexler Studio to discuss his book, Body & Glass (Wave Books, 2018). Their conversation touches on Koeneke’s writing process and use of pronouns as a “distancing technique,” the role of poetry — particularly experimental forms — in America today, and how joy might emerge from work about loss. In the podcast, the two also examine the traditions that poetry assembles for itself, drawing comparisons between modernists like Joyce and contemporary poets. Koeneke recorded readings for PennSound as well. 

Rodney Koeneke is an assistant history professor at Portland State University who has written four books of poetry: Body & Glass (Wave Books, 2018), Etruria (Wave Books, 2014), Musee Mechanique (BlazeVOX, 2006), and Rouge State (Pavement Saw, 2003). His work has appeared in many places, including Fence, Granta, Harper’s, Harriet, The Nation, Poetry, Zyzzyva. Koeneke has also published several chapbooks of poetry and one historical nonfiction book, Empires of the Mind: I. A. Richards and Basic English in China, 1929–1979 (Stanford University Press, 2004). 

Davy Knittle (he/they) is a doctoral candidate in English at the University of Pennsylvania. He works in the fields of feminist, queer, and trans theory, urban environmental humanities, and multiethnic US writing. His critical work has appeared recently or is forthcoming in WSQ, GLQ, Planning Perspectives, and Modern Language Studies. He is a reviews editor for Jacket2, curates the City Planning Poetics talk and reading series at the Kelly Writers House, and organizes with Penn’s Trans Literacy Project. Davy was recently named a 2020 Dean’s Scholar at Penn’s School of Arts & Sciences. — Nick Plante