Tony Trigilio with Susan M. Schultz

Susan M. Schultz
Susan M. Schultz

In his monthly poetry podcast, Radio Free Albion, Tony Trigilio interviews poets about their recently released or forthcoming books. Always informal, each interview is a conversation—two poets talking about the work and play of the creative process and showcasing some of the most innovative new work in contemporary poetry.

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Susan M. Schultz has lived and taught in Hawai’i since 1990. She is author, most recently, of Dementia Blog, Memory Cards: 2010-2011 Series and She’s Welcome to Her Disease”: Dementia Blog, Volume 2, all from Singing Horse Press. She edits Tinfish Press and blogs here. Trigilio and Schultz continued their conversation several months later, talking about baseball and matters of the spirit at tinfisheditor.blogspot.com, search term “baseball.”

Susan M. Schultz with H.L. Hix

Susan M. Schultz

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 America, from 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 Susan M. Schultz’s Dementia Blog (Singing Horse Press, 2008). 

H. L. Hix: In the “Fore and After Word” to Dementia Blog, you explicitly relate dementia and politics. This is a book that was first a blog: would you also add new media to that set of correspondences (as, say, Neil Postman would), or does the work’s originating as a blog indicate that you would not take new media as corresponding to dementia and the political memory loss you address in the book?

Susan M. Schultz: It depends on what you do with the medium. In general, I agree with Postman and Todd Gitlin that television and computers (email, cell phones, and so on) shorten our attention spans.  This is dangerous for a poet who needs time away, space and time not to be bombarded with information, voices, demands.