Friday, May 11, 2012

On Reading Other Poets

I often forget, during poetry workshops, to talk about the importance of not only reading other poets' work, but their interviews as well. They are usually quite insightful, and often lend clues to the background or inspiration for poems that have mysterious edges to them.

I recently did an interview for Indigo Williams' blog "Ask a Poet" and mentioned synesthesia. I've since received three emails from people who did not know there was an actual name for this thing they've experienced since childhood. I ended up writing back-and-forth for a week with a woman, talking about the sounds of colors and colors of letters and how imagery in our work was driven by synesthesia. It was exciting. And comforting.

On that note, I have decided to post numerous interviews from some of my favorite writers. I hope you read them. And I hope you come away inspired.

Tennessee Williams

Anne Sexton (interview is near the bottom) and there is also a partial interview here.

Gwendolyn Brooks

Gabriel García Márquez

Philip Levine

Arthur Miller

William Faulkner

Pablo Neruda

Alice Walker

P.S. While I was in Austin, TX last week, I bought a couple sheets of the Poets Stamps that the USPS put out. Get yours before they're gone!