Today we talk about Poem In Stained Glass, a book by David Andrews, published with our publishing house Europe Books.
Europe Books had the pleasure of interviewing the author David Andrews, to get to know him better, where he found the inspiration to write his collection of poems in his book Poem In Stained Glass, as well as which authors of the present and or the past he takes as a model.
Below you can find our interview. Take a seat and enjoy your reading!!!
- Where did you find the inspiration to write this collection of poems?
I have, historically, found inspiration in emotions that disorient me and put me in a brainspace that allows me to write what I consider poetry. Sometimes, this is a practical action: for example, I go somewhere new. Thus, many of my poems were written in cities unfamiliar to me. But intense emotions–grief, anguish, feelings of jealousy, love, contempt, extreme disappointment, depression–can do the same thing. These intensities and spatial movements seem to shatter my normal way of thinking, of ordering words. When this, for whatever reason, is not possible, I’ll cut up a newspaper and see what happens with the word mashups and random collages that result. The point is to get to that feeling of freshness in the language. Without it, I don’t find my words at all poetic. I guess this is basically a modernist attitude–make it new, make it strange, make it unfamiliar, etc.–but that is not operationally important. I just need to find the brainspace where what comes out on the page strikes me as poetic. I can’t write poetry without that feeling.
- What would you like to hear from your readers?
I would like to hear from readers recognition–of a truth, of an insight–and enjoyment–of the words, of the wordplay, of the reversals and inversions, of the experience of reading. But I’ll tell you the truth. I don’t really write for a reader outside myself. I know that makes me sound like an asshole, but the fact is that all my prose is for other people. My poetry, however, must please me first or I won’t let it out. That’s just how it is, that’s how I write. So, after all is said and done, I really, really hope other people can appreciate what I’ve done, but that is not how I went about writing this stuff. I guess that attitude is also a bit self-protective, maybe? If others don’t end up enjoying what I have done, I still have me, after all. (I’m joking. But not completely.)
- Which authors of the present and/or the past do you take as a model?
Oh my goodness, so many! I’ll only share the most important, as otherwise the list would be very long and suggest an unseemly amount of erudition. My most important models are American and either modernist or contemporary: William Bronk, William Carlos Williams, Gilbert Sorrentino, Jack Spicer, Denise Levertov, Robert Creeley. These are poets whose books I travel with, especially Bronk’s. But Ron Padgett, Lyn Hejinian, Louise Gluck, Margaret Atwood, and Rae Armantrout are also important to me. Likewise, many European poets flit about in the mental chaos: Rainer Maria Rilke, Paul Celan, Samuel Beckett, Laura Riding, William Butler Yeats, and of course William Shakespeare (because, well, c’mon). But there’s also Dr. Seuss in my head, Sulpicia and Sappho, Eminem, Li Bai, Kurt Cobain, Black Francis. It’s not an orderly thing, this modeling.
- How was your publishing experience?
The publication process has unfolded in a very smooth, predictable way, and I am very grateful to everyone who has helped in the copyediting, the design, and the promotion of this book, which has been a long time coming. In many ways, this process has stood in direct contrast with most of my dealings with “the poetry world,” where the actions of editors have often disappointed me in their arbitrariness or lack of professionalism. The experience with Europe Books has been the opposite. I may have seemed a bit impatient at times–and for that, I am very sorry–but the press has done everything it said it would do and in a very expeditious way. Whoa! This is all a very happy and quite unexpected result in “the poetry world.”
- Are you working on a new writing project?
Well, let’s just say I’m going on a long trip this summer. I think I’ll have the brainspace I need for poetry. But considering Poem in Stained Glass took almost three decades to compile, it’s safe to say nothing’s imminent. (Of course, if the royalties really just pile up–maybe on Planet Claire? –this could change.)
Europe Books thanks the author David Andrews once again for taking the time and answering our questions. We are really pleased to have walked alongside him on the editorial path that led to the publication of his book Poem In Stained Glass. We wish him the best of luck for his book and for his future works.
To you, my dear reader, I wish that this collection of poems captures your interest, your curiosity and that it makes you excited page after page!
So, my dear reader, all I have to say is to enjoy your reading!