Thursday, October 2, 2008

Podcast: Charles Simic

Sorry to dish up one of these lazy-ass cross-postings, but I have just uploaded to the Writers At Cornell Blog a fresh interview (just a couple of hours old!) with U.S. Poet Laureate Charles Simic.

Well...ex-Poet Laureate, actually. His stint ended a couple of days ago, and he's agreed to spend part of his first week off here in Ithaca, talking to students, giving a reading, and letting people take him out to dinner. During the interview we discuss not only his Laureateship, but his new book, The Monster Loves His Labyrinth, a collection of notes, a la The Notebook Of Anton Chekhov, a W6 favorite. I also ask him to repeat perhaps my favorite literary anecdote ever--the one about the time he met Richard Hugo at a conference in San Francisco, and they realized that Hugo actually dropped bombs on Simic during the Second World War. I love this story not only because it's so delightfully serendipitous, but because, in its mixture of horror and slapstick, it seems to match Simic's literary aesthetic so perfectly.

I love Simic's poems, and in the interview describe them as little cottages that, once you enter, turn out to be haunted mansions. This is among my favorite of these podcasts that I've done, so do click that link. Sorry about the clicks and pops...

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