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Paul Muldoon is a writer, academic and educator, as well as Pulitzer Prize-winning poet from County Armagh, Northern Ireland.  Since 1987 he has lived in the United States, where he[…]

Muldoon recommends Michael Dickman and Kathleen Graber, among others.

Question: Whose work are you watching?

Paul Muldoon: The rising poetry stars?

Some one we published just the other day whose work I really like. Michael Dickman his name is. He has at least one poem in the New Yorker recently.

There’s a women called Kathleen Graber who teaches at Princeton at the moment though she is moving, she moves around. 

There are always, always, always interesting early-career poets, we learn to call them. We don’t use that word young or old anymore; thank heavens.

Nothing makes me happier--and I am sure this is true of most poets, I would like to think it is true of the anyway. Nothing makes me happier than the thought of there is going to be somebody coming down the road who is going to be scintillating, who is going to take this project that we’re all involved in.

And more and more, I think perhaps it is a feature of getting older, one has to realize that, if anything, if one’s lucky, one’s just another drone in some sense, another tiller, another hewer, another drawer of water, another worker in the vineyard or whatever we all are. And we'd be very lucky to be counted one of them at all, be it an Irish one, be it American one or any other kind of one.  I love the idea actually more and more that we do--if we are lucky, if the gods are with us, we might get to do our little bit maybe.

I don’t know if we’ve advanced anything much, but we have moments--because we have not advanced on John Donne or William Shakespeare. We simply have not--or Emily Dickinson. No way, no way have we advanced on that.

So what each of us is doing is, if we’re lucky, it is just to put little variations on that and maybe these; Frost’s great phrase, “these momentary stays against confusion”; that in some sense must be new. They must be new, making it new. But they just, but they are very nature, they have not quite have this particular shape in the world. They have not taken this form in the world. These words have not occurred in precisely this order.

But, having said all that, there is nothing so exciting as the prospect of the next generation coming along and doing their riff on it.


Recorded on: Jan 30, 2008