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10 Questions

10 Questions for Piotr Florczyk

- By Catherine Fox

There is no denying that Polish poetry occupies a special place in the United States. Embraced by non-specialists and critics alike, the works of Czesław Miłosz, Wisława Szymborska, Zbigniew Herbert, and Adam Zagajewski have played a role in shaping the aesthetic of American poetry in the twentieth century. Anecdotal evidence sugg ests that today’s emerging poets also read the Polish masters, finding the historical and moral context that marks much of Polish poetry available in English not obscure, but germane.—from "East Meets West: On Polish and American Poets in Coversation," Volume 60, Issue 3 (Fall 2019)

Tell us about one of the first pieces you wrote.
I started writing creatively in high school. Those pieces, mainly poems...

10 Questions

10 Questions for Caelan Tree

- By Emily Wojcik

Lord, let me understand this barter of essences. You’ve taken my bohemian soul and left me another, strange, cold as a distant star. I look within and don’t recognize myself. Have I spent the magic dust of my previous life? Where are my fits, my excesses, Lord? —from “The New Skin” by Matilde Casazola, translated by Caelan Tree, Volume 60, Issue 3 (Fall 2019)

Tell us about one of the first pieces you translated.
One of my favorite undergraduate professors, translator Charles Cutler, introduced me to the Argentine poet Alfonsina Storni. We chatted after class about “Voy a dormir,” which Prof. Cutler said was one of those rare poems that is utterly untranslatable; of course, I then tried to translate it and...

10 Questions

10 Questions for Susan Mersereau

- By Catherine Fox

Michael thinks about how his wife, Anne, is known at her work for making the right call when it matters most. She gladly accepts—preemptively asks for—the totally impossible assignment. Anne always gets the job done when nobody thinks that she, or anybody, will be able to do it.—From “The Rendezvous,” Volume 60, Issue 3 (Fall 2019)

Tell us about one of the first pieces you wrote.
My first published story, “Where Two Did Gather,” appeared in a small New Brunswick journal called The Nashwaak Review. It’s about a new mother struggling to cope with her crying baby. A decade later I had my first baby and was surprised to find an uncanny comfort in that early story, almost as though I’d...

10 Questions

10 Questions for Neil Shepard

- By Catherine Fox

There is no sadness like today’s sadness¾
a spring day so achingly alive I want to break
out of my body. But somebody already said that.—From “There Is No Sadness” Volume 60, Issue 3 (Fall 2019)

What writer(s) or works have influenced the way you write now?
In my formative years—grad school in the mid-1970s—I immersed in the contemporary poetry of the time: The Beats, the Feminist poets, the New York poets, and the Deep Imagists. I found a deep affinity, in particular, with this latter group, especially for the nature poetry and elegiac tones of Bly, Wright, Merwin, and Kinnell.  Despite the thousands of other poets I’ve read and absorbed since then, these four poets are still in my...

10 Questions

10 Questions for Jesse Bertron

- By Catherine Fox

I flushed that flock of doves three times.
An hour’s worth of wingbeats in a rush
and then a rush and then a rush.—From “Walking on a Path by Fisher Creek, I Flushed a Flock of Doves,” Volume 60, Issue 3 (Fall 2019)

Tell us about one of the first pieces you wrote.
The first thing I wrote that I think still holds up, I wrote when I was about fifteen. I had a Livejournal, which was an early blogging platform. And some of the stuff on there I still find very funny. There were some poems, but mostly just silly riffs. Like here's one I went back and found:

There are three towels in my room.

These clearly represent the three wise men.


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