In her interview program The Last Word, Cynthia Arrieu-King interviews amateur and professional poets and writers in the South Jersey and tri-state area. Her subject for this interview is poet Kathleen Graber.
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.
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”]
From CCP episode #221: Ecopoetics. October 19, 2010. Transcribed by Kelly Bergeron.
Leonard Schwartz: Today’s guest on the phone from the Bay area, I’m very happy to say, is Camille Dungy. She’s professor in the creative writing department at San Francisco State University, and is the author of What to Eat, What to Drink, What to Leave for Poison. She’s helped to edit a number of poetry anthologies and most recently, she’s edited Black Nature: Four Centuries of African American Nature Poetry published by the University of Georgia Press. Welcome Camille Dungy.
Camille Dungy: Thank you.
LS: Great to have you on the line and to have your anthology Black Nature: Four Centuries of African American Nature Poetry, in hand. Can you say a little bit about this project and its ambitions?
From CCP Episode #77: Four Across, originally conducted in 2005. Transcription by Kelly Bergeron.
Leonard Schwartz: Today’s guest on the phone from North Carolina is Evie Shockley. She’s the author of The Gordon Goddess, and a new manuscript, a half-red sea, poems, which have been published in numerous literary periodicals. She’s got a new job teaching at Rutgers University and will be moving to New Brunswick soon. Welcome, Evie Shockley.
Evie Shockley: Hi!
LS: Hi. Great to have you on the line. I’ve really been enjoying the poems in a half-red sea. You begin the book with two epigraphs: one from a letter from Phillis Wheatley, and the second a poem from Lucille Clifton. Can you say a little bit about the influence or the relationship of these two figures to your poems?