Sunday, November 14, 2010

Poetry, Politics, Obscurity

Despite what the picture may lead you to believe, I haven't been interviewed by Ed Murrow.  No, people, it was Johannes Göransson who did the interviewing.  Johannes is an interesting guy, and I think we're the only two people concerned with contemporary poetry who have lived in both Lund, Sweden and South Bend, Indiana.  He asked me about poetry, the public sphere, and the politics of obscurity, among other things.  Anyone fool enough to want to read my answers can do so over at The Argotist. They also have more interesting interviews, with Charles Bernstein, Iain Sinclair, Marjorie Perloff, and Andrea Brady, among others.


  1. Bob, your interview is really interesting. Excellent. I'll probably have a couple questions later on it.

    I also did one for the Argotist early this year, or maybe it was late last, and much of it also focuses on "political poetry" and the (intimately related) politics of poetry itself. Maybe there are some comments here that bounce off yours and vice versa at different angles:


  2. I remember that interview! It holds up, too.


  3. You're too modest about that interview.

    As someone who wrote a story with politics in the background, I think one thing art can do is to encourage people to feel the ground beneath their feet, to stand on it, and to speak what they know to be true.

    I hope your final remark about the state of contemporary literature comes about: I hope it changes.

  4. Hi,

    Can please you direct me to the article referred to in your interview ("Public Faces in Private Spaces")? Thank you!

  5. Shelley -- I'm sure things will change -- but I have no idea how, or whether we'll all be wishing for the good old days of 2010.

    Ailbhe -- I'm surprised the bibliography for the article didn't make it into the interview. The article appeared in issue #1 of the Cambridge Literary Review. It isn't online, but here a site with the ordering info:

    A slightly different version has also appeared in the book "Intimate Exposure, which is available on Amazon here: