Francisco Poet Linda Dyer Quizzes Herself
Questions I wish someone would ask me:
Question: Why did you become a poet?
Answer: For the money!
No, no, because I was too shy to become a rock star, and I'm too wild to be a preacher. Poetry is the next best thing.
Q: What would you like to less of in contemporary poetry?
A: I hope to never read a poem again about myth, paintings or gardens. Many poets assume something inherently interesting about these subjects, and I'm bored to death of them. I also secretly hope that someone reading this writes a poem about any of those overdone subjects which makes me like them again.
Q: What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
A: Read voraciously, and read poetry you don't understand.
Write voraciously without censoring yourself. Revision comes later and can be just as fun as scrawling down your words in a frenzy of feeling.
Write past your inclinations.
If you begin to write about a particular subject, push yourself to write beyond (or under or over or sideways from) your initial assumptions.
Q: Have you found consolation in poetry in the aftermath of Sept. 11?
throughout the ages have turned to poets or soothsayers of some kind to
help explain the unexplainable. I sometimes think of poetry as the
secular church—there is comfort in reading poetry. Whether it is
profound or imaginary, it takes a grieved person somewhere out of herself
for a moment, and that is a great relief. Sometimes it's simply a
matter of getting involved in a set of rhythms to get away from the drone
of television speech. It's also a great relief to know that others
have felt similar grief and have put down words about it; then the grief
seems less enormous.
Dyer read from her work at Bookshop Santa Cruz on Tuesday, October 9th
at 7:30 PM. . She was joined by lyrical essayist John D'Agata.