Andy Fitch: Can we start with your table of contents? It hints at a musty, encyclopedic cabinet of curiosities which then get delivered out of sequence and in elliptical, lyric fashion. Apart from obvious pleasures of designing the table, how does it relate to a book-length conceptual framework?
Caryl Pagel: You can decide if I should answer. I’m happy to, but this table’s one of the major things that changed when Experiments I Should Like Tried at My Own Death went to print.
Over the summer,Andy Fitchhas interviewed 60 poets about their latest books. Ugly Duckling Presse will publish these collected interviews in 2013. This interview focuses on Pettit’s book Goat in the Snow(Birds, LLC, 2012) and was recorded on June 7th. Transcribed by Maia Spotts.
Andy Fitch:Goat in the Snow opens with two questions. Questions appear throughout. What appeals to you in the interrogative gesture?
Emily Pettit: Everything. My mind moves fastest when asking questions. That’s part of moving forward through the world. It’s a good way to find out stuff. I try to ask a lot of questions.
AF: I’ll be curious how these questions relate to readers. Do they get addressed to particular people and perspectives? Do they call for a specific response?
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.
This exchange took place in the summer of 2012. The Conversant expects these links to degrade over time.