Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Charles Wright in Conversation: Fifteen Interviews

After years of waiting, Charles Wright in Conversation will debut this year. Thanks to Robert Denham for including my interview from the Sonora Review. Here's a peek at the table of contents:

A Charles Wright Chronology 7
Preface 14
Abbreviations and Shortened Forms 16
1. An Interview with David St. John (1979) 17
2. An Interview with David Remnick (1983) 34
3. Charles Wright on Eugenio Montale and Dino Campana: An Interview with Mary Zeppa (1985) 46
4. “Metaphysics of the Quotidian”: A Conversation with Stan Sanvel Rubin & William Heyen (1986) 59
5. A Conversation with Miriam Marty Clark and Michael McFee (1989) 80
6. An Interview with J.D. McClatchy (1991) 97
7. An Interview with Ernest Suarez and Amy Verner (1998) 107
8. An Interview with Andrew Zawacki (1998) 136
9. An Interview with Troy Teegarden (1998) 152
10. Through Purgatory to Appalachia: An Interview with Martin Caseley (2000) 157
11. An Interview with Willard Spiegelman (2000) 168
12. An Interview with Ted Genoways (2000) 190
13. An Interview with Morgan Schuldt (2002) 202
14. Oblivion’s Glow: The (Post)Southern Sides of Charles Wright: An Interview with Daniel Cross Turner (2005) 209
15. An Interview with Louis Bourgeois (2006) 224
Charles Wright: A Selected Bibliography 234
Notes 276
Index 287

Here's one of my favorite statements on poetry:

"Poetry comes, for lack of better words, from the heart (the "foul rag-and-bone-shop of the heart," as Yeats had it), and from the soul—neither a place you can put your finger on, but a place you can surely put your foot in, if you don't watch out. It is a matter of "soul making," as John Keats said. It truly is not a matter of arrangement, of performance, of presentation, or rhetorical dazzle or surprise, though all of those matters may be part of it. It is not the distractions, but the focus. It is not the undercard, but the main event. There is always an emotional half to the equation, but the other half is always craft—you have to be able to say it your way. It's the only time that two plus one makes two—language is half, technique is half, and emotion is half. An emotional value is always involved. Distortions and side events are often interesting and entertaining, but they are not the stillness and fathered attention at road's end. It's not a question of paper, or type-writers, of white space or of dark space—it's a question of what's in your life, and where you want that life to lead you. You've only got one, and you can fill it with whatever you want. You're free and American. But if it is poetry that you want, then don't look for language games, intellectual rip-offs, or rhetorical sing-alongs. It's too often been a matter of life and death to those who really cared. You've got to know, in your heart of hearts, that Keats is right, that it is about soul-making, that it does matter, and that it can make you or break you as a person. It is the main event, as I say, and ancillary to nothing. It's either Atonement or At Onement, but it is one of them."

-Charles Wright

1 comment:

Louis Bourgeois said...

Please send me more information about the Charles Wright book. Who is the publisher of the book? I have an interview in the book but I was not informed about its publication.