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Interviews: G-I

Rae Armantrout

Rae Armantrout

Independent, skeptical, laconic, and always lyrical, Rae Armantrout is a poet of wit and precision. Her poems are typically built of brief sections and short lines in which every word and syllable has been carefully weighed and placed. She also values alacrity and surprise. Arcs of argument can end midflight or spring abruptly in unforeseen directions. The tone shifts, and shifts again. The rewards of her quicksilver verse are many: she helps, as William Blake once put it, to cleanse the doors of perception. You look anew at everyday things and delight in language’s myriad marvels and traps. You also laugh out loud.

Interview of the Day

Michael Hofmann

Michael Hofmann

It’s a little strange to encounter Michael Hofmann in Gainesville. He has taught creative writing for over twenty years at the University of Florida, whose sprawling campus is dominated on its northern edge by a football stadium, the Swamp, where orange-and-blue Gators chomp their unlucky opponents. A short drive from there, you can pick your way past dozens of real gators, dusky green and preternaturally still, in the Paynes Prairie Preserve, which is also home to herds of wild horses and bison. How the bison got to Florida, and why they stayed, must be an interesting story. In one of Hofmann’s few Gainesville poems, “Freebird,” written after his first visit in 1990, he quotes D. H. Lawrence: “One forms not the faintest inward attachment, especially here in America.”