The Farrar, Straus and Giroux Poetry Blog

April 19, 2008

I Belong To The School That Is Against Schools

Rackett_12_3 Those of you who were reading the blog last year will remember that we had a wealth of audio from Pulitzer Prize winning poet Paul Muldoon. There was our first poetry ringtone, a meditation on poems by Rilke and James Wright, an enthusiastic reading of John Berryman, and a rendition of 'The Sightseers' from his book Horse Latitudes, all well worth a listen if you didn't catch them the first time around.

So I've been feeling a bit bereft this year without his pleasant demeanor around the place. To remedy the situation slightly, here is a great interview conducted with Paul Muldoon shortly after he was appointed poetry editor for The New Yorker. Matt Dellinger interviews him for the magazine (and cracks a pretty good joke about Paul's rock band Rackett).

The interview is wonderfully wide reaching, touching on good, weird stuff like geodesic domes, hip hop, and the pleasing variety found in the work of younger poets today. Here's a snippet:

Q: I'm sure readers are wondering what you might have in store for New Yorker poetry, and whether you feel you have any particular mission?

A: The answer is that there is no mission, I have no mission except, except, except...to be open to the possibility of offering a wide range of poems. I tend to go in fear of schools of any kind, I tend to go in fear of those who would insist that poetry must take any particular shape or form in the world, or indeed perhaps any lack of shape or form. So I belong to the school, one would say, that is against schools. So I am open to anything.

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