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Kristina Marie Darling interview at The Bellingham Review


Kristina Marie Darling

ALR PhotoInterview

by Carol Guess

Kristina Marie Darling is the author of twelve books, which include Melancholia (An Essay) (Ravenna Press, 2012), Petrarchan (BlazeVOX Books, 2013), and (with Carol Guess) X Marks the Dress: A Registry (Gold Wake Press, 2013). Her work has been honored with fellowships from Yaddo, the Hawthornden Castle International Retreat for Writers, the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation, and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, as well as grants from the Kittredge Fund and the Elizabeth George Foundation. Kristina is currently working toward a Ph.D. in Poetics at SUNY-Buffalo, where she holds a Presidential Fellowship. She edits Noctuary Press.

Carol Guess is the author of thirteen books of poetry and prose. She teaches at Western Washington University. Follow her here at: www.carolguess.blogspot.com.


X Marks the Dress - Book Cover - 2-1Carol Guess: How did you become interested in writing and publishing hybrid forms? 

Kristina Marie Darling: I’ve was initially attracted to hybrid forms because they allow one to manipulate and undermine the reader’s expectations of narrative in interesting ways. When a reader sees prose on the page, they often assume that the text will unfold in a certain way:  a linear narrative will appear, filled with clear explanations of what things mean. I’ve always loved working against these kinds of readerly expectations, creating texts that challenge our assumptions about what prose should be.

With that in mind, I think of hybrid writing as an attempt to question the limitations we place on literary texts as a result of their form, their genre, or their orientation on the printed page. Hybrid writing has a unique ability to expand what we as readers think is possible within a literary text, and to foster more open-minded reading practices.

I’m passionate about publishing hybrid writing by women because of the gender politics inherent in these assumptions about what’s possible in a literary text. So much of the time, socially dominant groups decide what counts as “fiction,” “poetry,” or even “narrative.” I’m very interested in documenting, and bringing visibility to, writing that challenges prevailing ideas about what’s possible (or not possible) within a literary text.

Carol: Your current academic research is focused on H.D. What’s the interplay between your academic work and your creative projects?

Kristina Marie: To some people, H.D. might seem like an unlikely choice for a writer interested in hybrid genre work. But I’ve always been fascinated by her use of the poetic image to lend unity to book-length projects. I feel I’ve learned a great deal from H.D. that I can apply to my own craft.  In Helen in Egypt, for example, several recurring images recur throughout the book: seashells, the ocean, and a lyre. H.D. has shown me that a single image can be inscribed and reinscribed within a long poem, acquiring myriad possibilities for readerly interpretation as the book unfolds. The poetic image generates meaning, rather than being limited to a single fixed meaning. This technique is certainly something I’ve emulated in my own long poems, Petrarchan and Melancholia (An Essay).


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Split Lip interviews Kristina Marie Darling on her new book Brushes with

J. Scott Bugher

Kristina Marie Darling on Her New Book: Brushes with

It was a joy reading Kristina Marie Darling's new book Brushes with and it is a privilege to have the chance to discuss the book with this brilliant avant-garde writer. She is a master of innovative form. There is a famous quote from poet Robert Creeley: "Form is an extension of content," and Kristina Marie Darling indeed a master of using such things as footnotes, terms found in dictionaries, glossaries, erasure, etc blended with prose poetry. In sum, fragmentation. Through the course of reading Brushes with--which you should because it's available HERE--you'll find all sorts of unique gems that masterfully tell this story. 

I would first like to thank you for dehydrating my highlighting marker in its entirety. There is much to take in when reading your new bookBrushes with. I want to dive into the book here soon, but could you tell me if this has this always been your gig: experimental writing? Was there ever a time you wrote more conventional prose or poetry? Where did it all start and what brought you to the writer you are now?


When I first started writing, I was very traditional.  Much of what I wrote was autobiographical.  Failed relationships, Missouri, and the suburbs were almost always my chosen subjects.  Reading other poets was what helped me incorporate more variety in my writing.  I read everything I could get my hands on, which ranged from Gary Snyder to Joshua Clover and even The Maximus Poems.  I started to understand that the poet isn't always the speaker of the poem, but rather, poets can experiment with the techniques of fiction writing. I'd have to say that reading, and being

exposed to many ideas outside of my own comfort zone, taught me the importance of innovation, experimentation, and risk-taking in poetry.  It's fine to write from one's lived experience, but one shouldn't be afraid to take liberties with both form and content when writing from autobiography. 


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An Interview with Kristina Marie Darling by Lightsey Darst


Read a wonderful interview at Word Riot with Lightsey Darst and Kristina Marie Darling. Here is a smal clip. Hurray! 

An Interview with Kristina Marie Darling by Lightsey Darst

Kristina 1Kristina Marie Darling is the author of nine books, which include Melancholia (An Essay) (Ravenna Press, 2012), The Moon & Other Inventions: Poems After Joseph Cornell (BlazeVOX Books, 2012), and (with Carol Guess) X Marks the Dress: A Registry (Gold Wake Press, forthcoming in 2014). Her writing has been honored with fellowships from the Corporation of Yaddo, the Hawthornden Castle International Retreat for Writers, the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, the Vermont Studio Center, and the Ragdale Foundation, as well as grants from the Kittredge Fund and the Elizabeth George Foundation. Her newest poetry collection, Petrarchan, was be released by BlazeVOX Books in February.

LD: How did you find your way to this form? When you did, did it just run away with you? What, for you, marks off one project distinctly from the next?

KMD: I became interested in fragmented forms because of what they allow the writer to leave unsaid. When I was much younger, I used to write lyric poetry in the most traditional sense. But it was so difficult for me not to seem lofty or clichéd. Once I started writing footnotes, glossaries, and other types of marginalia, there was no turning back. I loved that these forms leave space for the reader’s imagination, allowing them to take part in the work of the poet.

LD: You note your sources at the end of the book—Petrarch, of course, and Anne Carson’s Sappho. What’s the role of source material? Do the poems find their way to sources or vice versa? If it’s vice versa, to what extent do you see yourself doing a kind of creative research? I’m wondering to what extent there might be a thesis. . .

Read the whole interview here

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15 Questions: Author Interviews Interviews start this friday!

15 Questions: Author Interviews Interviews start this friday!

15 Questions: Author Interviews

We are implementing a new series at BlazeVOX, Author Interviews. In fifteen questions we hope to introduce you to our authors and poets. Each writer has a story that brought him or her to write a book. Through in-depth interviews with detailed questions and searching topics being covered as writers from all walks of life talk about the highs and lows in their writing. So make a new connection, BXtraordinary!

Starts this Friday!

Forthcoming Interviews

Anne-Adele Wight

Carlo Matos

Kristina Marie Darling

Jared Schickling

Travis Cebula

Mark DuCharme

Barbara Henning

James Berger

Christopher Shipman

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