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Kristina Marie Darling interviewed at Writers Digest!

 

Kristina Marie Darling: Poet Interview

Confession: I don’t really keep records on Poetic Asides, but I’m pretty sure Kristina Marie Darling has the record for most poet interviews in PA history.

Kristina Marie Darling

Kristina Marie Darling

If this is your first time hearing her name, Kristina Marie Darling is the author of over 20 books, which include VowPetrarchan, and Scorched Altar, all available from BlazeVOX Books.  Her writing has been recognized with fellowships from Yaddo, the Ucross Foundation, and the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation, as well as grants from the Kittredge Fund and the Elizabeth George Foundation.  She was recently selected as a Visiting Artist at the American Academy in Rome.

Visit her online at http://kristinamariedarling.com.

It’s been fun watching her writing evolve over the years, and in Darling’s collection Scorched Altar: Selected Poems & Stories 2007-2014, it’s now possible to get a sampling of her writing from 12 different sources.

Here are a few of the pieces you will find:

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In the 48-minute tutorial Re-Creating Poetry: How to Revise Poems, poets will learn how to go about re-creating their poems with the use of 7 revision filters that can help poets more effectively play with their poems after the first draft. Plus, it helps poets see how they make revision–gasp–fun!

Click to continue.

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What are you currently up to?

I’m getting ready to leave for a residency at the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts and couldn’t be more excited. I’ll spend my time there working on a new collection of erasure poems, which examines the egregious amount of gender violence in Shakespeare’s tragedies. The fragmented, elliptical poems ask reader to consider whether the literature we’ve inherited has normalized gender violence, since plays like HamletKing Lear, and Othello are so present within the public imagination.

Part critique, part excavation, the poems are intended to redirect the focus of scholarly and readerly attention. It is when we become conscious of underlying beliefs and assumptions in culture, and their roots, that change emerges as a real possibility.

scorched_altar_selected_poems_stories_kristina_marie_darlingScorched Altar is a collection of selected poems and stories published by BlazeVOX [books]. How did this collection come about?

That’s a great question. I initially contacted Geoffrey Gatza, the fabulous editor in charge of the press, to inquire about the possibility of a Selected Poems.

It turns out that Geoffrey had the same idea himself, and I simply e-mailed first. Since I had worked with BlazeVOX on numerous previous collections, I knew that my Selected Poems was in very good hands.

Was the process of selecting pieces from previous collections different than putting together a new collection?

When I compiled the poems from my previous collections for Scorched Altar, it was a much different process than working on a brand new collection. For me, writing a new poem or poetry book is an intuitive process, and I don’t reflect much on what I’m doing, at least in the drafting stage. If I allow myself to become too self-aware, that allows me to become self-critical, and then no writing gets done at all.

What I really enjoyed about the process of compiling Scorched Altar was that it prompted me to reflect on my body of work as a whole, to see patterns emerge from my writing over the past seven years, and to see progress and growth. The act of examining my poetry over the course of several years also helped me see what ideas, obsessions, and literary forms I returned to most frequently. And as a result, I came away from the process with many ideas for new projects, experiments, and poems that were completely different from anything I’d ever written before.

In many ways, the act of examining my body of work showed me what is possible within it.

Many of your pieces, especially in collections like Correspondence and Fortress, have a very visual element to how they’re arranged on the page. Do you ever perform these in readings? If so, do you have to explain how they’re set?

I think every poetry reading has some element of performance. Whether the poet shouts their poems, or sings them, or invites audience participation, I’m positive that all writers have a constructed persona, which is an extension of the work itself. With that in mind, I love performing my footnote poems at readings.

I typically read them in a completely flat, monotone voice, almost like the bad math professor that just about everyone had in college. I love seeing the audience lulled into a sense of comfort by the unexciting presentation of the work, only to be surprised by the wildly imaginative content.

You’re an active literary critic. Does this inform your writing? Help? Hinder?

I’m glad you asked about my reviewing and involvement with literary criticism. I love reviewing books, because it exposes me to poetry that is completely outside my comfort zone. This is great because it helps me question and interrogate what I normally do in my own writing. It pushes me to try new things and experiment more within my own practice. And it helps me see more clearly where my poems fit within the larger literary community.

The best thing about reviewing, though, is that it helps build relationships within publishing and writing. I’ve met friends, collaborators, and even mentors when working on reviews. And there’s nothing better than free books!

Read the Whole Interview Here 

Read More about Scorched Alter here

 

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Kristina Marie Darling interviewed at Blotterature

 

AN INTERVIEW WITH KRISTINA MARIE DARLING

Blotterature was excited when Kristina Marie Darling sent her collection, The Arctic Circle, our way for a review. We see her work widely published in the small press and admire her dedication to her craft–especially when taking risks. In her interview below, Kristina displays her positive attitude–a quality we all can admire.  And we can’t forget to mention that she has the coolest name. Hope you enjoy!

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Blotterature has a strong connection to our place – industrialized Northwest Indiana – and it is reflective in our writing. Tell us where you are and how your place fits into your art. 

That’s a great question. I lived for three years in Buffalo, New York and the snow-covered landscape appears quite frequently in my poems. I’m very interested in the ways that poetry can explore the relationship between one’s inner experience and one’s surroundings, since the two are often inextricable. In many of my poems, the speaker’s innermost thoughts and emotions are projected onto the landscape, ultimately shaping how the reader sees and experiences that particular place. My most recent collection, The Arctic Circle, takes this idea to the extreme, suggesting that an ice-covered landscape houses not only frozen vegetables, but also, frozen hearts and frozen wives.

Who/What has impacted your work the most and how does that come through?

More than anything, my work has been impacted by my experience as a woman in academia. Most people associate academic prose with strict rules, and stricter genre categories. In my creative practice, I work with a variety of prose forms, including prose poems, flash fictions, footnotes, glossaries, and endnotes. I frequently fill these somewhat unexciting prose forms with subversive and unexpected content. By doing so, I hope to show the reader that anything is possible within a literary text, so one should never impose limitations on a piece of writing on the basis of its form or appearance on the printed page.

How do you generate new ideas for your work?

When I have writer’s block, the best thing for me to do is read everything I can get my hands on. I read poetry and hybrid pieces, but also work that would never appear on the syllabus of a poetry workshop. After all, writing itself is just one more way of grappling with the literary and cultural tradition(s) that we have inherited. For me, it’s impossible to write if I don’t have something to engage or respond to.

When have you been most satisfied with your work?

I’m most satisfied with my work when it initiates dialogue between writers, reviewers, or even visual artists and composers. The best part of being a writer is being part of a community, so I’m always excited to see responses to my poetry, whatever form they may take. I was thrilled when Dale Trumbore, a fabulously talented composer, set some of my footnote poems to music. And recently, I participated in an installation project, where my poem was sewn onto a kite. All of art is a conversation, so it’s impossible for me to work (and feel fulfilled in my work) in isolation.

How do you know when a piece is finished?

That’s something that every artist struggles with, I think! In my own practice, I know when a piece is finished after I’ve lived with it for awhile, and I can read it without thinking of revisions, edits, and other things that I would do differently if given the chance.

What has been your biggest failure and what − if any − lessons were learned?

I published my work too soon. While many writers would constantly reprimand themselves for publishing something before it was ready, I choose not to feel bad about it at all. I’m grateful that those editors took a chance on my work, and I’m thankful that those journals helped my work find readers. In many ways, what some writers would consider a failure or a lapse in judgment has taught me the importance of gratitude in any writer’s practice.

Read the whole Interview here 

Check out Arctic Circle here 

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Kristina Marie Darling on the Best American Poetry blog

 

Dismantling Categories of Thought: A Conversation Between Kristina Marie Darling & Sarah Vap

ARCO IRISKMD:  I've truly enjoyed reading all three of your books, and was intrigued by the dream-like quality of the poems in Arco Iris.  They seem at once ethereal and carefully grounded in concrete imagery, rendering everyday things (like coffee, used electronics, and the sky above) suddenly and wonderfully strange.  Along these lines, many of the poems take place in an unnamed tropical location, which for the reader, is both anywhere and nowhere, a tangible place place and a psychological one. With that in mind, I'd love to hear your thoughts about the relationship between travel, the literary arts, and the human psyche.  What does travel make possible within your writing practice?  And within conscious experience? 

SV: That's interesting. I don't think of Arco Iris as dreamlike or unspecific. It's actually named a few times as South America-- many regions in South America-- a continent my partner and I traveled for a few months about nine years ago. The book is, in my experience of it and my intentions for it, a kind of anti travel-poetry. Or a rejection of the trope of travel (especially of the white traveler going to a brown place to have a "writing experience" or to buy themselves an authentic transformational experience or etc.). It is a book in which I can't write or think myself out of a scenario in which my movement in the world (as a white American, especially) is not complicit with neoliberal violence and/or globalism and its many layers and types and shades of (economic, racial, political, physical...) violences. I wonder if the ethereal experience you had of it was what I felt to be the spellcasting of capitalism--you try to say something against capitalism, it is immediately appropriated as a product of capitalism (and neutralized?), ad infinitum. 

But along those lines, after having read your Music for another life and Vow-- I'd love to ask--what do the ethereal, the dreamlike, the bride, and the book mean for you in those collections? And perhaps related, do you understand or do you think through your work on a book-by-book level, or a poem-by-poem level, or as a group of books together, or...? 

Read the whole interview here 

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A whole lot of good news from Kristina Marie Darling

This is a whole lot of trending for Kristina Marie Darling. She is this weeks blogger at the Best American Poetry website and we’ll be posting her articles all week long. Here is the first:

 

February 02, 2015

 

Formal Innovation & Textual Rupture: A Conversation Between Kristina Marie Darling & Tony Trigilio [by Kristina Marie Darling]

 

Kristina Marie Darling:  Your new book, The Complete Dark Shadows (of My Childhood), Book 1, offers readers an extended engagement with 1960s mass culture, exploring the myriad ways that television and radio shape the individual consciousness.  This idea that culture determines what is possible within thought, and within the human mind, is gracefully enacted in the content of the poems, which appear as pristine couplets.  I'm intrigued, though, by moments when the form is broken, and the poems deviate from the pattern that has been established.  As the writer, how do you know when a form should be broken?  What does breaking form make possible within the content of your work?

 

Tony Trigilio:  Thanks so much for your detailed reading of the book.  My hope is that, as you mentioned, readers can identify with the ways mass media and individual consciousness shape each other in the book.  As I get deeper into Vol. 2 of the Dark Shadows project (about half-finished with the second volume now), I gain a deeper appreciation of mass media's roots in the verb "to mediate."  I realize the connection is obvious: but it's one thing to experience media/mediation intellectually, and an entirely different thing to experience it psychically and viscerally.  Like all of us, the development of my own psyche was mediated by electronic communication—for me, it was television and radio, and for folks growing up now, it's digital media.  It just so happens that the mediating force for me was a kitschy vampire and all the nightmares he caused me (though I was way too young to understand he was kitschy).  As scary as the continual nightmares were, they did introduce me to the power of dream and to the idea that dream-reality is as vital and real as waking-reality. 

 

Read the whole interview here: http://blog.bestamericanpoetry.com/the_best_american_poetry/2015/02/formal-innovation-textual-rupture-a-conversation-between-kristina-marie-darling-tony-trigilio-by-kri.html

 

 

A review and interview about Scorched Altar in Up the Staircase Quarterly.

 

Review:  http://www.upthestaircase.org/scorched-altar.html

 

Interview:  http://www.upthestaircase.org/interview-with-kristina-marie-darling.html

 

 

And finally here is new interview at Rob McClennan's Blog: 

 

http://www.robmclennan.blogspot.ca/2015/02/12-or-20-second-series-questions-with.html

 

 

Hurray! 

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Kristina Marie Darling's True North on today's Verse Daily

®

Today's poem is by Kristina Marie Darling

True North 
        

From the start you made me promise not to ask
questions about your first wife. You'd leave for
weeks and wouldn't tell me why.

When you finally came home, dinner always
began the same way. I'd catch a glimpse of 
something in the window while warming soup or 
vegetables. Then I looked out into the yard and 
saw her face. Sometimes she stood at the door, 
straightening her dress, about to knock. Most of 
the time she was out of breath, as though she'd 
walked a long way in the cold.
        No matter what you told me, I was afraid 
to open the door. She carried no purse, and no 
luggage, because everything she needed was
already here.


 


Copyright © 2015 Kristina Marie Darling All rights reserved
from The Arctic Circle 
BlazeVOX [books] 
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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Photos on flickr