|Muses Review Interviews
Fall 2005 - Oct Nov Dec
|November 6, 2005, Sunday Lenore Weiss California, USA
Dear Ms. Lenore Weiss,
This is an email interview. Please answer the following questions for Muses Review. You may skip the questions you do not like to answer.
Part I. Your Opinion.
1. AA: Why do you like to write poetry?
LW: Poetry is my natural response to the world with the music and the rhythms that form the experience of my physical body.
2. AA: Is it necessary to join literary organizations or poetry organizations? Why?
LW: It isn't necessary, but extremely helpful to help expand your exposure to different kinds of poetry, and to find an audience who can provide constructive feedback about your writing.
3. AA: Are poetry books difficult to sell? If yes, why?
LW: The commercial market is not there to promote the sale of poetry. Like many worthwhile endeavors, poetry flourishes in the independent publishing world. On the flip side, I believe poets can make their writing more accessible by addressing certain themes and events.
4. AA: Have you taught poetry before? If yes, describe your experience. If no, what is your day job right now?
LW: I have taught poetry as an occasional consultant in the classroom. My day job right now is as a Web Master for a transportation company in the Bay Area.
5. AA: What makes a poetrybook a bestseller? Is your poetrybook a bestseller?
LW: Notoriety and publicity makes a bestseller like Allen Ginsberg's Howl, or Pablo Neruda's poems about the Chilean copper miners. Commitment and the willingness to take a stand help form that notoriety.
6. AA: Do you think poets can change the world?
LW: Yes! I think that today's hip-hop performance poetry is doing just that, serving as a mini teach-in about what's going in the lives and in the world of young people. Young people are connecting through that medium, and that's one of the things writing does - brings people together, a key to changing the world.
7. AA: Do you like to read your poems in front of the audience? How does it feel?
LW: I always enjoy sharing poems with an audience. Sometimes I like to hear a new poem "out loud" and to be able to gauge an audience's response - the way they may "hear" something. Beyond that, for me reading the poem gives it life and breath beyond the page.
8. AA: Many of your poems have Jewish themes. Are you a Jew by birth? What country?
LW: I am a Jew by birth, raised in the South Bronx by two immigrant parents. Writing about Jewish themes is a part of who I am. As a Jew, I'm concerned about the Middle East. However, I also draw upon that well of my ancestors who regularly daven in my ear.
9. AA: Should children be encouraged to read poetry? Why?
LW: Children love poetry. They feel its rhythms inside their bodies. Poetry allows them to play with language. Poetry also is a great natural teacher that speaks quietly.
10. AA: Why the title "Come Untogether" in your recent chapbook (2004)?
LW: "Come Untogether" was written after my marriage of more than 20 years concluded. I had to come back to myself to come untogether. The title, of course, is a play on the title of the Beatles' love song, "Come Together".
This interview is cut short because the whole interview is found in the print version of Muses Review.
|Featured Poet for November
Lenore Weiss : Longing for Zion
Interview Conducted by Andrew Angus
Poet from California
(Oct Nov Dec)
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