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Kristina Marie Darling interviewed at Poet's Quarterly

The “Darling” of the Poetry World

Millicent Bórges Accardi, Interviews Editor

Reviews have made me a better writer, one who is more articulate 
about her own practice. Poetry is a conversation, and your book is 
just the beginning.

The “Darling” of the Poetry World


Millicent Bórges Accardi, Interviews Editor

Reviews have made me a better writer, one who is more articulate about her own practice. Poetry is a conversation, and your book is just the beginning.


The author of over twenty books, including Melancholia (An Essay), Petrarchan and a hybrid genre collection called Fortress, as well as a collaboration poetry book with Carol Guess about bridal registries called X Marks the Dress, Kristina Marie Darling is one of the most prolific writers in the 21st century.
Darling’s awards include fellowships from Yaddo, the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation, and the Hawthornden Castle International Retreat for Writers, as well as grants from the Kittredge Fund and the Elizabeth George Foundation. She is currently working toward a Ph.D. in Poetics at S.U.N.Y.-Buffalo.

Millicent Bórges Accardi: Erin Elizabeth Smith (director of Sundress Academy in Knoxville) in an Amazon review calls X Marks the Dress, “a narrative of love and identity that unpacks itself again and again. . .Lines and images reappear in new and surprising ways—footnotes, appendices, definitions—that stunningly illustrate exactly how slippery love can be.”


Where did you come up with the inspiration for this poetry collection?

Kristina Marie Darling: My collaborator, Carol Guess, was the mastermind. She had the brilliant idea of structuring the book around the idea of a bridal registry, with each poem named for a domestic object. We wrote the poems in call and response style, with Carol starting us off, and then I responded to her work, and so on. Carol assumed the voice of the husband, and I was the wife. As we worked, the book went in many unexpected directions. For example, the husband realized that he was really a woman. But things didn't become really wild until we introduced a mistress into the narrative.... 

Water Goblets

Your girlfriend licks sugar off the rim of a crystal shot glass. What happens to the wedding gifts if a marriage dissolves? Before, it was easy to send thank you notes: white scented paper, matching envelopes, & dark green ink. But now you’re changing in the bathroom, unbuttoning the shirt I bought for you at some Labor Day sale. Soon I see you all pale blue in someone else’s designer dress. I’ve undone the little clasp on my purse, searching for gift receipts. Sweetheart, your new bride is waiting in her mud-stained car. The husband I remember wouldn’t look back.

(Link to Mistress flash poems in Mudlark)

MBA: X Marks the Dress is a niche market book which I think could straddle the poetry world and a general audience. For example, I can see brides getting that book at showers or women giving it as gifts before a wedding. Have you experienced cross-over readers?

KMD: Carol and I were amused when the book hit #1 on the Amazon.com Bestselling New Releases for books about bridal gowns. 

Read the whole interview here 

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