Lawrence Ferlinghetti has said that American poetÂ Robert DuncanÂ ”had the best ear this side of Dante.” A celebrated figure among contemporaries such as Robert Creeley, Charles Olson, and Denise Levertov, Duncan is known as much for his rich, complex, and dazzling poetry, as well as his prominence in pre-Stonewall gay culture. Released in August,Â A Poetâ€™s Mind: Collected Interviews with Robert Duncan, 1960-1985,Â reveals a portrait of a master of American poetry in his own words, as edited and collected by Christopher Wagstaff.
A thoughtful, engaging, and, frequently humorous volume for students and scholars alike,Â A Poetâ€™s MindÂ is the only book to collect and present virtually every interview conducted with Robert Duncan between 1960 and 1985, including eight previously unpublished conversations.
Here are a few of our favorite quotes from the book:
“It’s a cynical time. Anything that is not cynical is marginalized. We’ve lost sentiment… There are no models for falling in love. The romance novel of a high order, the fairytale, may be the highest form of romance we have today…”
“I’m bookish: I read everything that’s in front of me, including cereal boxes if put in front of me. I have been bookish since the beginning of time.”
“I’m certainly more likely to be reading a book than to be reading a leaf, or an oceanfront or a mountain, although IÂ readÂ them, and that tells you something. Other people look at them; I read them.”
“I think of a poem being read, re-read, and the meaning of it found in different ways over a lifetime. That’s the way I find my poems, read my poems.”
Join Christopher Wagstaff, the editor ofÂ A Poet’s Mind: Collected Interviews with Robert Duncan,Â in the Berkeley City Club’s Members’ Lounge on Sunday, October 21 at 1:30 pm for a celebration of the book’s launch, with remarks by:
Hosted by Kevin Killian
RSVP for this event and share it with your friends on Facebook here.