Waaseyaa’sin Christine Sy with Giles Benaway

To celebrate The Conversant’s evolving relationship with The Volta website collective over its five year run, Senior Editors Ching-In Chen and Caleb Beckwith have selected pieces from our archives which exemplify that relationship for our October issue. This conversation was originally part of our February 2014 issue. Enjoy!

Giles Benaway and Lemon Hound
Giles Benaway and Lemon Hound

The Conversant long has admired Lemon Hound’s lively, multifarious engagement with contemporary literature. In partnership with Lemon Hound, and in the hopes of encouraging further dialog between Canadian- and U.S.-based poetics, we have decided to re-publish a monthly excerpt from the Lemon Hound archive. The subject of this particular interview is Giles Benaway’s Ceremonies for the Dead.

Waaseyaa’sin Christine Sy: I want to share my thanks and appreciation Giles, for you allowing your first published collection of poems to be a dwelling place for the Dead. How did the Dead manage to get such space, and why is this space ceremonial?

Sina Queyras with Adam Dickinson

Andrew Dickinson, Lemon Hound icon
Adam Dickinson, Lemon Hound icon

The Conversant long has admired Lemon Hounds lively, multifarious engagement with contemporary literature. In partnership with Lemon Hound, and in the hopes of encouraging further dialog between Canadian- and U.S.-based poetics, we have decided to re-publish a monthly excerpt from the Lemon Hound archive.

Sina Queyras: I can’t think of a more extreme follow up to Kingdom, Phylum, but then looking at Kingdom, Phylum again, I thought, well, actually this kind of makes sense. Particularly given the work you did on the Regreen anthology in the interim. Can you tell me why polymers?

Sue Sinclair with Sachiko Murakami

Sachiko Murakami and Lemon Hound
Sachiko Murakami and Lemon Hound

The Conversant long has admired Lemon Hound’s lively, multifarious engagement with contemporary literature. In partnership with Lemon Hound, and in the hopes of encouraging further dialog between Canadian- and U.S.-based poetics, we have decided to re-publish a monthly excerpt from the Lemon Hound archive.

On Beauty,” is  a series of Lemon Hound interviews in which I ask poets about their relationship to beauty. Here I talk to Sachiko Murakami, poet and editor, whose online interactive projects are fascinating experiments in collective authorship. I hope you enjoy her curious mind, dynamic style and unpretentious attitude.—Sue Sinclair

Sue Sinclair: Can you point me toward a poem you find beautiful? In what way do you think of or experience this poem as beautiful?

Sachiko Murakami: From a. rawlings’ wide slumber for lepidopterists (Coach House 2006), one of the most beautiful books I’ve ever read:

Sina Queyras with H.L. Hix

Sina Queyras

This interview by H.L. Hix is one of a series, many of which will be collected in Alter Nation: America in Recent Poetry, Recent Poetry in Americafrom Ugly Duckling Presse (fall 2012). Hix loves the interview form as a way of thinking together (itself a condition of democracy, justice, philosophy, and other ideals and practices he values), and as one element in a community poetics. The subject of this interview is Sina Queyras’s Teethmarks (Nightwood Editions, 2004).

H. L. Hix: At least in the book’s second section, the centrality of Cindy Sherman (especially combined with the Berger references) suggests something I suspect is also true of the other sections also, namely that women’s experience—as contrasted to men’s experience and distinct from what human experience may be shared across gender—is a focal concern. I take it as among the various implications of Sherman’s work that one such gender-specific aspect of experience is im-personation—our ways of creating/receiving our identities and inhabiting them. Am I right to hear the same implication in this sequence of poems?

Sina Queyras: Yes, identities are of concern to me, not only gendered identities, but identities, and perhaps more so the awareness or extent to which we are conscious of the activity of creating identities.