Robert Frost on Ezra Pound and the Modern Poet

Interview excerpt from The Paris Review:

That’s one of the best things you can say about Pound: he wanted to be the first to jump. Didn’t call people up on the telephone to see how they were going to jump. He was all silent with eagerness.


So often they ask me—I just been all around, you know, been out West, been all around—and so often they ask me, “What is a modern poet?” I dodge it often, but I said the other night, “A modern poet must be one that speaks to modern people no matter when he lived in the world. That would be one way of describing it. And it would make him more modern, perhaps, if he were alive and speaking to modern people.”

Read the full here.

Kay Ryan on the Need to Rhyme

Interview excerpted from the Paris Review:

When I started writing nobody rhymed—it was in utter disrepute. Yet rhyme was a siren to me. I had this condition of things rhyming in my mind without my permission. Still I couldn’t take end-rhyme seriously, which meant I had to find other ways—I stashed my rhymes at the wrong ends of lines and in the middles—the front of one word would rhyme with the back of another one, or one word might be identical to three words.


What’s recombinant rhyme? It’s like how they add a snip of the jellyfish’s glow-in-the-dark gene to bunnies and make them glow green; by snipping up pieces of sound and redistributing them throughout a poem I found I could get the poem to go a little bit luminescent.

For the full, read here.

Eudora Welty Applies For a Job at The New Yorker, 1933

From Letters of Note:

I have seen an untoward amount of picture galleries and 15¢ movies lately, and could review them with my old prosperous detachment, I think; in fact, I recently coined a general word for Matisse’s pictures after seeing his latest at the Marie Harriman: concubineapple. That shows you how my mind works — quick, and away from the point. I read simply voraciously, and can drum up an opinion afterwards.

Read the full here.

Vijay Prashad: The View from the Other Side

Interview excerpted from Jadaliyya:

The Poorer Nations finishes for me the project of telling the history of the contemporary world (the past hundred years) from the standpoint of the South. The perspective of these two books is that of the South—its investments and its contradictions, of course in terms of its relationship with the rest of the world and itself. It is not the view from Washington or Moscow, London or Tokyo—it is the view from the other side, as it were. I wanted to do this as a counter to the kind of global histories being produced, whose globality masks the Northern perspective and interests of much of this history-writing

Read the full here.

Nalo Hopkins, Author and Textile Designer

Excerpt from the New Yorker’s Page-Turner:

I don’t think it’s a case of my writing inspiring my fabric designs; it’s that both my writing and my designs are fuelled by the same passions and obsessions of mine. I work a lot from historical illustrations and photos. Sometimes I change the original images significantly, sometimes not.

Read/see the full here.

Andrew Ervin responds to the VIDA Count 2012

Excerpt from The Rumpus:

What I’ve come to realize, thanks to VIDA and the Count, is that my feminist convictions do not make up for the low number of books by women I’ve reviewed. Not yet. Good intentions are not enough. It’s people like me, people aware of the persistent sexism of our society, who need to do a better job of promoting books by women. To ignore the gender disparity in publishing is to perpetuate it. I can’t do that any longer. Instead, I will continue to champion all of the books I love in every way I can—only now I will do so with a clearer understanding of just how far we still have to go in building the literary community that we all deserve.

Read the full response here.
Read the VIDA Count 2012.