A few weeks ago I went along to the Free Verse Poetry Book Fair and saw the panel ‘Poetry and Politics’ with Choman Hardi, WN Herbert, RA Villanueva and Sophie Mayer. Sophie and I then took the conversation off-road.
After we cover off interconnectedness, I have a quick whinge about Carol Ann Duffy’s poem Silver Lining. We then consider whether Wordsworth was the first mansplainer, why we never hear about Mary Robinson, the workings of the poetry bubble – and that’s just the first 15 minutes.
Definitely check out Catechism: Poems for Pussy Riot and I Don’t Call Myself a Poet. Towards the end Sophie reads from Blood Run by Allison Hedge Coke, looking at the last part of the poem When the Animals Leave this Place.
(I also realised after recording that ‘the speaker’ here isn’t the man growing a bear at all, it’s someone else speaking to him/about him. So many levels!)
This week South Australian poet SB Wright gets real about the fact that perfect poetry doesn’t happen the moment the pen hits the page. Sean’s spending a year focusing on poetry, which leads us to Ira Glass’s advice on the gap between taste and ability, William Stafford’s A Way of Writing, fixed vs. growth mindsets and Jo Bell’s poetry checklist.
After looking at Kay Ryan’s A Certain Kind of Eden, we also dare to approach the A Word (…accessible), which leads me to rant on a favourite topic: Al Filreis’s distinction between (Walt) Whitmanian and (Emily) Dickinsonian poems.
To end Sean reads his poem Black Snake Driving, and we talk about how it came together and why Sean decided to open up about the process of getting to publication.
A grab-bag of thoughts about the awe-inspiring (but not at all intimidating) Olena Kalytiak Davis and my ideas on how to approach a poet/poem for the first time. Check out: