13 April 2008

Jorie Graham

Jorie Graham has a new book, Sea Change, available in print and on the Amazon Kindle.

Deirdre Wenger interviews Jorie Graham at phillyburbs.com. This excerpt from the end of the interview:

DW: What would you suggest to people who are aspiring to be writers and poets? Do you have any advice on how to achieve their goals.

JG: I hate giving advice. But if I take a stab at it today — today I would say: read. Read complete works of poets, to learn what a whole poetic “idiom” is. Also walk, look, smell, taste, touch, listen. Get your body back. Try to make yourself use all your senses every day. There is a vast amount of “information” that is coming at one from sources one doesn’t even know exist. Get outside. Find the strange — not the weird, but the mysterious. We all need to work on staying awake. This is a somnolent era. Growing more so. We need to work hard, pretty much all the time, to achieve moments of presence and wakefulness. Also, avoid living too much in the conceptual intellect at the expense of your body — the “thinky death” Berryman calls it. Undergo poems before you jump to interpretation. Wait till it is absolutely necessary to begin to think “about” the poem, or what it might “mean." Your own or someone else’s.

Also, write as if there is no satellite to transmit your words. Write as if you are writing something that could be dug up out of the sand . . .

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