Persephone Magazine’s Reading Challenge

Did I say I was publishing twice today? Well, then this is the bonus third. Check out Persephone Magazine’s reading challenge which involves reading many categories / styles of books: it includes challenges of books to read such as “A book with a one-word title,” “A book that is by or about someone from an indigenous culture (Native Americans, Aboriginals, etc.),” “A book in translation,” “A graphic novel,” etc. There are 20 book challenges; writer Sara Habein records the results of taking on this challenge. At #17, “A book of poetry,” she’s read my book. Here’s what she had to say:

“I let this collection of poetry languish unread in my collection for far too long. It wasn’t for any particular reason; I just kept forgetting to pick it up. Finally, I’ve read it, and it’s magnificent and feels personal and is exactly what I’m looking for when I want a book of poetry, somewhat in the same way I love Tracy K. Smith’s work.”

…which is pretty sweet to say.

Click here for the reading challenge, and get reading.

‘Writers Who Read’ Interview

And here’s the second of two interviews posted on the same day. This one was especially fun: G.G. Andrew asks me questions about books I love. It’s occurred to me that I like this a lot more than the usual construction of “Which writers do you admire / emulate / hold up as gods” etc., the question that always makes me falter and go dry-mouthed. Which is silly. What’s the difference?

I’ll keep pondering this, and in the meantime, click here for the interview.

Here’s an excerpt, in answer to Andrew asking me about my book weaknesses:

“I’m not often into bestsellers, and I am discouraged on every level when the ‘must-read’ author lists of The New York Times and NPR are blindingly white. As readers, as makers of these lists, who are we if we can’t diversify our reading? I don’t want to read only books by people who occupy the very tiny niche I live in. Books by people who are not my exact demographic continue to make me a better person, a more compassionate and thoughtful person; they challenge me in great ways.”

Here’s to more challenges and great books to be read and re-read.

‘Balancing the Tide’ Interview

Oh, look. I’m not even a month behind posting. First up is #1 of two interviews that went live the same day: this one is via Molly Sutton Kiefer’s blog “Balancing the Tide,” which focuses on mothering and art. Click here for the interview.

And here’s an excerpt. Kiefer asks me about the process of writing and how it’s changed since having kids; I answer:

“…being aware of a good line/idea as it enters my head is the difference between writing a poem or not on any given day. My kids are my primary obligation, and thankfully they’re of the age – 8 & 10 – that I really can go ‘Hold on, kids, gotta write this note to myself’ without worrying about them wandering into traffic or sticking rocks up their noses. At the same time, I don’t have the ability to drop their needs and go write the entire poem. I’ve learned to make peace with putting that one line on paper. My kids always seem to be hungry. Well, it’s snack time somewhere in the world, I guess.”

Check out the other interviews on the site with Alicia Ostriker, Rachel Zucker, Annie Finch, Julianna Baggott, and more.