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Recently it has become commonplace, in summary accounts of contemporary verse, to blame Snodgrass for the abuses of confessional poetry. Thus are the suns of the third generation visited upon the progenitors. Once must admit that Heart's Needle, with its miseries of divorce and child-loss, started things: Robert Lowell sometimes credited his Iowa pupil Snodgrass with showing him the way to Life Studies. Hall, Donald. “‘Selected Poems, 1957-1987’ by W. D. Snodgrass (Book Review).” Partisan Review 55.3 (1988): 505-507. Howard Gotlieb Archival Research Center. Online. 5 March 2014. <http://hgar-pub1.bu.edu/web/partisan-review/search-collection/detail/331552>
Donald Hall • More Details
“Later I found I didn’t want to write that kind of very personal poem, and I certainly don’t want to anymore.”
W. D. Snodgrass • More Details
Later I found I didn’t want to write that kind of very personal poem, and I certainly don’t want to anymore. The poems about my sister I read last night at Skidmore are the last poems of that sort I will write, I know, and most of those are quite old.
W. D. Snodgrass • More Details
Confessional poetry is being redefined. The term has always been ambiguous. Sometimes it has been taken to desribe the work of the small circle of Robert Lowell and three of his students--Sylvia Plath, Anne Sexton and W. D. Snodgrass--and at other times the poetry of intimacy and crisis famously defined by M. L. Rosenthal in a 1959 article, a delineation which incorporates a wider range of writers, such as Adrienne Rich and John Berryman, or even more broadly younger writers like Sharon Olds and Mark Doty. But over the last decade the very validity of the name has come into question, and the poets traditionally read through a confessional paradigm are being approached in new ways.
Brian Brodhead Glaser • More Details
My writing of dramatic monologues was a happy accident, because I took so much to heart the opinion of my first poetry teacher, Richard Shelton, the fact that the first person voice was always the stronger voice to use when writing. What began as an experiment in that voice became the only voice in which I wrote for about twenty years. Lately, though, I've been writing poems and short stories using the second person, without, it seems to me, any diminution in the power of my work. Still, I feel that the dramatic monologue was the form in which I was born to write and I love it as passionately, or perhaps more passionately, than I have ever loved a man.
Ai • More Details
Ai is the only name by which I wish, and indeed, should be known. Since I am the child of a scandalous affair my mother had with a Japanese man she met at a streetcar stop, and I was forced to live a lie for so many years, while my mother concealed my natural father's identity from me, I feel that I should not have to be identified with a man, who was only my stepfather, for all eternity.
Ai • More Details