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.
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.