I suspect that my writings about the fabulous Converse low-residency MFA program tend to be fiction-centric. Be assured that we also have fabulous poets (and nonfiction) teachers, too. Here’s a recent interview poet Major Jackson conducted with Converse’s Denise Duhamel, who has to be one of the funniest, most innovative, most supportive writers out there:
MJ: How did this poem begin? You said it was a number of journal entries and lifted conversations. How did it begin and how did you go about structuring the poem?DD: I wrote it out in prose, actually, in the beginning. I had these lists. I had the little old ladies at my condo, what they were whispering, all this stuff I would write down. It wasn’t in this order, but I had it in a little journal. And then I went to the hairdresser and I wrote down some of what happened there, and then I was also keeping notes about the whole Facebook thing. For me, the poem is trying to talk about something without talking about it. I guess it’s trying to be confessional without being completely confessional.
Read on. (The poem referenced in this snippet above is “If You Really Want To,” which can be read as a PDF at this site as well as another…both raw, and IMHO, not-to-be missed.)