Christopher Schmidt with Andy Fitch

Christopher Schmidt (left) reads with help from Stephen Paul Miller

Over the summer, Andy Fitch has interviewed 60 poets about their latest books. Ugly Duckling Presse will publish these collected interviews in 2013. This interview focuses on Schmidt’s chapbook Thermae (EOAGH, 2012) and was recorded on May 1, 2012. Transcribed by Maia Spotts.

Andy Fitch: Could we start with waste, the focus of your current scholarly project and a subject that first appears in Thermae’s Baudelarian epigraph? Is Thermae an outlet—that’s a pun in some ways—for your critical study? Did one emerge from the ruins of the other? Does one evolve out of the other? Do they both take on this role?

Christopher Schmidt: They are related. One emerges from the cloaca of the other. [Laughs.] Writing Thermae, which came after starting the critical text, helped explain to me why I’d landed on this topic of waste, what my transference to it was.

Stephen Motika and Christopher Schmidt in Conversation

Stephen Motika and Christopher Schmidt

Over the next year, Andy Fitch will be asking participants from his Ugly Duckling Presse interview project to pair up and interview each other. By placing parallel interviews alongside his own, Fitch hopes to demonstrate that no one talk is definitive, that there are an infinitude of possible trajectories for such a discussion to take.

In this two-part audio conversation, Stephen Motika and Christopher Schmidt discuss their work, including Motika’s recent Western Practice, published by Alice James Books (2012), and Schmidt’s chapbook Thermae, published by EOAGH (2012).

[mp3j track=”Part-1@http://theconversant.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/Schmidt_Interviews_Motika.mp3″ caption=”Schmidt interviews Motika about Western Practice”]

[mp3j track=”Part-2@http://theconversant.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/Schmidt_and_Motika_in_Conversation.mp3″ caption=”Schmidt and Motika discuss their work”]