Rochelle Hurt, poet, Rust Belt and Ohio native, and author of THE RUSTED CITY, very, very kindly interviewed me for one of her posts as guest blogger for The Best American Poetry blog. I get pretty geeky in the process (par for the course)–her questions were rad. If you’d like to read about aesthetics, accessibility in poetry, Sookie Stackhouse, or read a poem about Man O’ War, here is the link to the interview.
My real recommendation is to read Rochelle’s book. For one thing, it is a novel in verse, and there’s no way to describe the work the prose poems do with large-scale formal conceit and emotion that is as moving as the experience of reading the book yourself. For those of us who lose gray matter stressing over ordering poems into something that approximates a book as opposed to a doorstop, I would point to THE RUSTED CITY a book of poems that is very confidently a book, and lovingly so. The stories of a Rust Belt city, a family, systemic ruin, labor, a daughter, and creation itself are all told through a perspective that is carefully crafted while embracing the inorganic skew that is a (un)natural result of the fractures of the era. I would recommend this collection especially to anyone who is interested in lyric character-growth, world-building, and love of people, or of the world.