Marsh Hawk Press offers a "Three Questions" Series for its authors to discuss individual titles -- an index to the Series is available HERE. We are pleased to present this Q&A with Michael Rerick and his book which received the 2008 Marsh Hawk Press Poetry Prize:
1) What is something not known or obvious about your book In Ways Impossible to Fold?
While writing the book I was thinking about large themes like art and beauty, those sometimes taboo poetic subjects, and wondering how I could tackle them. I felt as though it would be too obvious to have poems or sections dealing directly with, say, art, so juggling a set of concrete and abstract notions made the most sense to me at the time. Poems in each section consider, then, art in Sculptures, the artist and beauty in X-Ray, personal history in Objects, a History, travel in Post Clips, and language in Preservation/Excavations. I don’t know if my approach is obvious, and in a way I hope it isn’t, but I did have fun tackling these themes in an abstract-concrete way.
2) Please share some responses to your book that’s surprised you, or made you happy or disappointed.
A friend taught my book in her undergraduate poetry workshop and I visited the class to discuss my work. To be honest, it was flattering as well as a bit terrifying. I was honored to have so many people consider the book all at once, but I also felt uncomfortable discussing my work while in the hot seat. Still, the book created the experience, and I’m happy to be able to do things like this because of it.
Also, my family read the book. Or parts of it. And that is saying something.
3) If you had to choose a favorite poem or a poem to highlight from the book, which one would you choose and why?
I think the opening poem really sets the linguistic and thematic mood for what the book does as a whole. It also contains the book’s title. So, it’s a nutshell:
This, publicly, takes a love story and unfolds geometrically
in ways impossible to fold. All around: a park. Inside:
hollow. The welts show, the granite pedestal moans a bird,
it jumps. At night it sings. The story of “what draws me to it,
personally” grows in the socket of a mossy eye, a field
of I-beams that float, pivot, tap, meow, or triangulate
the gravity of healthy problems. Rust meets another wind.
Light: a shiver and smile of wire mesh.
We thank Michael Rerick for participating in this Q&A.