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10 Questions

10 Questions for James Smethurst

- By Abby MacGregor

“If Amiri Baraka had never published anything but Blues People, he would still be an important cultural critic. The appearance of the book in 1963 is a plausible beginning for when and where cul­tural studies began in the United States, a starting point that, in fact, antedates the founding of the Centre for Cultural Studies by Richard Hoggart in Birmingham, England.” —from “‘Formal Renditions’: Revisiting the Baraka-Ellison Debate”, Spring 2019 (Vol. 60, Issue 1)

Tell us about one of the first pieces you’ve written.
Though I am sometimes thought of as a scholar of literature, one of the first shorter pieces I published was "How I Got to Memphis: The Blues and the...


10 Questions

10 Questions for Geoffrey Brock

- By Emily Wojcik

Having risen from a branch of the Ni River
during a lull in the Battle of Spotsylvania,
she settled on the blue upper lip of a dead
Confederate corporal, weary. . . .
from “The Mayfly: May 12, 1864,” Volume 60, Issue 1 (Spring 2019)

Tell us about one of the first pieces you wrote.
The first “serious” poem I ever wrote...


10 Questions

10(ish) Questions for David Roderick

- By Emily Wojcik

Begone deadpan
mother into stones

arranged like a skeleton,
begone fatherly blades

that scotch my greening. . . —from "Ballad of the Wild," Volume 60, Issue 1 (Spring 2019)


Tell us about one of the first pieces you wrote.
Most of my first successful (sort of) poems I wrote in the MFA program at UMass and published in my first book, Blue Colonial. They focused on my hometown, Plymouth, Massachusetts...


10 Questions

10 Questions for Chris Forhan

- By Abby MacGregor

They said dragoon and sconce and prithee then
and cursed not their work—rock-hauling, hog-murdering, thatch-gather­ing,
even as it stiffened their fingers, wrenched legs into question marks.
from “What Is the Cause That the Former Days Were Better Than These?”, Spring 2019 (Vol. 60, Issue 1)
 

Tell us about one of the first pieces you wrote.
My earliest extant poem is one I wrote when I was eight and gave to my mother for Mother’s Day. I put a carnation in the poem so that I had a rhyme for “celebration”—already I was letting form determine content. A couple of years later, I wrote a short novel that my fifth-grade teacher thought impressive enough to read aloud to the...


10 Questions

10 Questions for Elena Karina Byrne

- By Abby MacGregor

A god, speaking to anyone
who wants to listen, paints apart
this person from that limb, this ceiling
from that sky, this mouth inside a child’s mouth
like those TV puppets that scared
me, sitting wood-jaw & vertebra upright in the lap.
—from “The Neighbor’s Dog Would Not Stop Barking”, Spring 2019 (Vol. 60, Issue 1)

 

Tell us about one of the first pieces you wrote.
I presume you mean when did I first start writing poetry? I was twelve. I had a marvelous teacher that brought the imagination into the classroom. Before that, it resided in the art room, at home, and in museums. So, my first poem turned out to be like a painting. Then, fast forward, some bad stuff in 8th grade,...


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