Here Comes Everybody
Writers on writing

Tuesday, January 8, 2005

Susan M. Schultz returned very recently from Nepal with Radhika Anne Webster Schultz, a lively, lovely 3 year old girl, who joins her brother Sangha, aged 5, and my husband, Bryant (42). She is the founder of Tin Fish Press and a life long St. Louis Cardinals fan.

1. What is the first poem you ever loved? Why?

I don’t remember which poems I loved as a child, but I do remember falling hard for Wallace Stevens’s “Mozart, 1935” in high school, for its music and odd time travel.

2. What is something/someone non-“literary” you read which may surprise your peers/colleagues? Why do you read it/them?

Political blogs, baseball news and analysis, Cambodian history—because I’m obsessed with politics, the St. Louis Cardinals, and my son from Cambodia, though not in that order!

3. How important is philosophy to your writing? Why?

Philosophy has always been important to me, not because I remember much of it, but for the play of mind, ways of thinking it suggests, and the questions it keeps refusing to answer.


4. Who are some of your favorite non-Anglo-American writers? Why?

Zhang Er, Linh Dinh’s translations of Vietnamese poets, Linh Dinh himself, Ho Chi Minh, Lisa Linn Kanae, Lee Tonouchi, probably because I’ve published them, hence spent a lot of time with their work.

5. Do you read a lot of poetry? If so, how important is it to your writing?

Yes, I am a professor of poetry. I couldn’t live or write or make a living without it.

6. What is something which your peers/colleagues may assume you’ve read but haven’t? Why haven’t you?

You’d have to ask my colleagues. I’m always astounded at what I haven’t read.

7. How would you explain what a poem is to my seven year old?

Poems are (usually) short pieces of writing that are made from other writing. You can cut words out of a newspaper and paste them on another sheet of paper and make a new poem. What you make will astonish you.

8. Do you believe in a Role for the Poet? If so, how does it differ from the Role of the Citizen?

I believe in all these things, but without the capital letters.

9. Word associations (the first word which comes to mind; be honest):

I***and I

10. What is the relationship between the text and the body in your writing?

While many women have recently—and crucially—written about motherhood and the body, I write about motherhood and the adoptive body (is that what I want to say?). This means involving history and culture in any consideration of my and my son’s bodies, to say nothing of the poem's body.

posted by Lance at 6:02 PM