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Kathryn Stripling Byer at “How A Poem Happens”

December 3, 2009

The wonderful website “How A Poem Happens” talks with N.C. Poet Laureate Kathryn Stripling Byer this week about her poem “Precious Little.” The poem is prefaced by a quote from Eudora Welty’s Losing Battles, and the interview opens with Byer discussing Welty’s influence on her own writing:

This poem began after a writers conference in Asheville, NC to which I took a small group of women students. Eudora Welty had just died, and we spent a portion of the morning session talking about her work, so her influence was much on my mind as the rest of the day unfolded. Welty’s lyrical short stories helped to shape my sense of how language can create a world that pulses at the center of the lyric moment. “The Wide Net,” in particular, really woke me up to the kind of writing I wanted to attempt; by then, I knew I wanted to write poetry, not fiction, but I also knew I wanted my poetry to sound as much like Welty’s wide net as possible.

The rest of the interview is equally insightful. Check it out here.

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