This week, I got an email from someone at 00TAL
, the hip culture magazine behind the Stockholm International Poetry Festival
. The theme of this year's festival is An Evening In Three Love Acts
We, the featured poets, have been asked to:read something you have written about love; a big word that you are free to interpret as you wish.
The email asked me to answer, as briefly as possible, five questions, for the little booklet they'll create and distribute about the poets. It felt like a flirtation and a haiku challenge, rolled into one.
Here are the questions, and my answers.If love were a city, which city would it be?
The three-way union of Stockholm on Midsummer's Eve, New Orleans before the levees broke, and the 13th-century city-state of Lamu.
Have you ever gotten a love poem from someone?Yes. The loveliest one was nine pages long.Have you ever written a love poem to someone?
My aspiration as a poet is to write political essays which work as love poems
Who in the world needs poetry the most?
Those who have disconnected their guts from their hearts, and their hearts from their brains.What would you like to communicate to the audience?
My job as a poet is to wake the audience up. To move them beyond numbness, bring them fully alive, to both heartbreak and wonder.