My interview about How to Read Poetry Like a Professor with Jake Nevins of The Guardian U.S. came out today. What a great birthday present! He does a great job of asking a solid setup question and then letting his subject blather, which is one of my specialties:
I’ll be reading from and talking about How to Read Poetry Like a Professor at two events in April:
Thursday, April 12 at 7:00 p.m. at Schuler Books in the Meridian Mall in Okemos, Michigan
Tuesday, April 24 at 7:00 p.m. at Nicola’s Books in the Westgate Shopping Center in Ann Arbor, Michigan
March 31 is the birthday of the late John Fowles (1926). Don’t blame him, but The French Lieutenant’s Woman changed my life. I’d never seen a book make use of the past, of tropes and types from the Victorian novel (in this case) in the service of something highly non-Victorian. The novel was still pretty new (six or seven years old), and even Nabokov hadn’t quite prepared me for this, and I knew I had to find out more about this heady business.
The new book hits shelves today. It’s available at better bookstores everywhere. Wondering if your bookstore is better? Ask if they have the book; then you’ll know.
How to Read Poetry Like a Professor hits shelves on the 27th. In anticipation of that blessed event, HarperCollins Academic Marketing interviewed me last week. The results are now available as a podcast. Michael and I had an interesting conversation: https://soundcloud.com/user-639387857/thomas-c-foster
The happiest day in the writer’s calendar? Easy. The one with a large box of books. My work here is done. I was so happy I didn’t even tell the UPS man he needs a muffler. Think he knows?
[This is one of my Pensées, occasional observations chiefly on nature and perhaps our place in it. The title is lifted from Blaise Pascal, who did this sort of thing so much better. But he’s not here, and I am, so there you go.]
Creamy white on snow,
they vanish as they lift off
from field edges
like ghosts of themselves.
Shy visitors from the Far
North, settling down by ditches
only to flee
in parabolic waves, their meals of
weed seeds disturbed by
mechanical giants unknown
on their breeding grounds.
One doesn’t so much see them as intuit
their departures and rearrivals,
catching rumors peripherally.