Friday, February 12, 2010

Another link (or two) for the Laureate ...

A little more delving, and I came across another interview with Cathy Smith Bowers, this one focused largely on her then-new Book of Minutes. In it Cathy responds to a question about the presence of spirituality in her work with this:
[W]e are in a culture deprived of spirituality. We hunger for it and are always looking for ways of having the spirit fed. In the best poetry, the spirit will be fed, and it’s the spirit that should be—not the brain. The mind is also a part of it—but [the mind] is the machine that gets the reader to the spirit of the poem. I like to think of a poem as a river of spirit, and every once in a while there comes a current of intellect. I like smart poems, but I don’t want the smartness of the poem to be the main thing. I want to not even notice the smartness of a poem until many readings later.
When her interviewer, Julie Funderburk, asked for a model of such a poetic practice, Cathy cited Gerard Manley Hopkins, whom I've heard her cite in other contexts as well. He's clearly one of her favorite poets. Check it out.

Update, 13 February 2010: storySouth, which hosts the interview, also hosts some poems from Traveling in Time of Danger and A Book of Minutes.


Photos: Top: Kathryn Stripling Byer crowns Cathy Smith Bowers as North Carolina's new Poet Laureate in the old legislative chamber of the state capitol building in Raleigh, Feb. 10, 2010. NC Secretary of Cultural Resources Linda Carlisle looks on.
Bottom: Cathy Smith Bowers, North Carolina's new Poet Laureate, delivers her address accepting the appointment, and explaining her goals for the position.

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