Friday, 14 August 2009

New book plus: Rotterdam interviews & links, Mark Sarvas





I have just found these two links from the Rotterdam International Poetry Festival. I must explain that they are from the complete series of the festival and you will find marvellous poets from all over the world here, including Bei Dao, Piotr Sommer, Tua Forsström, Jacques Roubaud, Maura Dooley, Vera Pavlova, Umberto Fiori, Dunya Mikhail, Yang Lian, L.F. Rosen (whom I translated while there - I must submit those translations for publication somewhere!), Arjen Duinker, Luke Davies, Valzhyna Mort, Henrik Nordbrandt, Sigitas Parilskis, Kazuko Shiraisi, and Brian Turner - all either in recorded sound interview or on film, or both. It's wonderful to have them - particularly the films which I never saw while there. What a marvellous festival that was, and how well organised!

You'll find the 'me' bits among the others, scrolling up or down:


1. Sound Recording

In the half-hour recorded interview with Judith Palmer I talk about poetic responsibility, blogs, the simultaneous aspect of ritual and anti-ritual, constraint, rhyme and feeling and accident, the ornate necessities of poetry, one's own psychological predilections and self-image, the idea of packing material into poem being like packing a suitcase, on not telling language what to do, on catching things in flight, catching experience as it is in language and stopping time, memory as snapshot or short snip of film, other art forms including The Burning of the Books, poems as organic marginalia, works talking to each other or performing a duet, on self-deprecation providing it isn't lying, on being an under-educated art student, on lacking a sense of authority and diffidence, on affection for England, on writing in a second language you can never quite own, on writing in standard English, on having no memory of forgetting Hungarian / learning English, the provisionality of all language, language as an object, on synthetic memory, the game of memory and certainty, the midnight skaters, the disappearances and dancing of poetry.

I read two poems: Esprit d'Escalier from the New and Collected Poems and my earliest properly formed poem of 1976, At the Dressing Table Mirror, originally in The Slant Door.

Interview with Judith Palmer here, move to my name and click on it (also on sidebar now)



2. Film-clip

2. A film clip of some six and a half minutes, mostly interview and reading My Father Carries Me (from Reel). But this is a lovely series. It is great and moving to look at the clips of the others. I talk about how I started writing, about crossing the border into Austria, about terza rima, about memory again... I spent a lot of time particularly with Umberto, Piotr and Dunya...

The clips are here.

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I also wanted to reciprocate Mark Sarvas's adding of my site to his links by adding his to mine. I should have done this long ago. Mark's site, The Elegant Variation, is one of the leading book sites in the USA. Chiefly concerned with fiction he gets through a vast amount of fascinating and superbly intelligent reading. He is here, as also in the sidebar under Writers' Blogs.



2 comments:

Poet in Residence said...

Thanks for sharing your thoughts as well as your poem. I also enjoyed Sweeney's anecdote and poem about the t-shirt sweatmark shaped like the map of Ireland...well aren't they all?

George S said...

In Budapest, Gwilym in a house where reception fluctuates. These are all rather nice interviews. I personally think t-shirt sweatmarks resemble Norfolk with just the top corner of Suffolk thrown in. A bit of coastal erosion going on at the top right....