Interview with Teresa Carmody, from CCP Episode # 196: Place. June 14, 2009. Transcribed by Kelly Bergeron.
Leonard Schwartz: Today’s guest on the phone, from Los Angeles, is Teresa Carmody. She’s a writer and the publisher and editor of Les Figues Press, based in Los Angeles, publishing very interesting work, largely in prose, largely experimental or innovative prose, I would say. But what is really interesting to find out is what Teresa Carmody would say. Welcome Teresa Carmody.
Teresa Carmody: Thank you.
LS: Great to have you on the phone, on the line from L.A. Can you say a little bit about the publishing vision for Les Figues Press?
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 with Don Mee Choi is her translation of Kim Hyesoon’s Mommy Must Be a Fountain of Feathers (Action Books, 2008).
H. L. Hix: The speaker in “Face” speculates that “Maybe I am the hostage of an absent being” (70). I suspect it’s always misleading to seize on one moment in a poem and seek in it some “message” about the whole poem or collection, but is there some meaningful sense in which one might take this as a characterization of the state all the poems resist, a figure for the “blackened space” your introduction identifies as the space in which all Koreans, but especially Korean women, live? Given the neocolonial relationship you note, in what ways would you expect American readers to find in the poems similarities with their own experience, and in what ways would you expect them to find contrasts to their own experience?
Don Mee Choi: I think it might be best for me to begin by saying something about Kim Hyesoon’s hell. Continue reading →
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. Continue reading →