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"Intellect, anxiety, philosophy, history, art": Rachel Abramowitz and Tina Cane in Conversation [by Kristina Marie Darling]

It is a pleasure to introduce this conversation by two outstanding and generous literary citizens:  Tina Cane and Rachel Abramowitz.  In both writers' bodies of work, we see a poetics powered by community, enriched by conversation and emboldened by dialogue across genres and mediums.  

Abramowitz Screen Shot 2022-08-03 at 11.43.48 AM

Rachel Abramowitz is also the author The Birthday of the Dead, which just launched from Conduit Editions, as well as the chapbooks The Puzzle Monster, winner of the 2021 Tomaž Šalamun prize (forthcoming from Factory Hollow Press in 2022), and Gut Lust, the winner of the 2019 Burnside Review prize (Burnside Review Press, 2020). Her poems and reviews have appeared in Tin House Online, The Threepenny Review, Seneca Review, The Kenyon Review Online, Crazyhorse, Tupelo Quarterly, Prelude, Oxonian Review, POOL, jubilat, Sprung Formal, Transom, Colorado Review, and others. She is a graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop and the University of Oxford, and has taught English Literature at Barnard College in New York. 

Tina Cane was born in Hell’s Kitchen, NYC in 1969 and grew up in the city’s East and West Village. She attended the University of Vermont, the Sorbonne and completed her master’s degree in French Literature at ​the University of Paris X-Nanterre and Middlebury College.  She is the founder and director of Writers-in-the Schools, RI, for which she works as a visiting poet. Over the past twenty-five years, Tina has taught French, English, and creative writing in public and private schools throughout New York City and Rhode Island.  Her poems and translations have appeared ​in numerous publications, including Spinning Jenny, The Literary  Review, Tupelo Quarterly, The Common, Poem-a-Day.  Her work,The Fifth Thought, was the 2008 Other Painters Press chapbook winner. Her books include The Fifth Thought,Dear Elena: Letters for Elena FerranteOnce More With Feeling, and Body of Work. Tina was the 2016 recipient for the Fellowship Merit Award in Poetry from the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts. She currently serves as the Poet Laureate of Rhode Island where she lives with her husband and their three children. In 2020, Cane was named a poet laureate fellow with the Academy of American Poets. Tina is also the creator/curator of the distance reading series, ​Poetry is Bread.  Alma Presses Play, Tina's debut novel-in-verse for young adults readers, will be released in September 2021 with Penguin/ Random House Books.

Tina Cane: There's a poem I keep returning to called "Vantablack" from your new collection, The Birthday of the Dead. It's named for that blackest shade of paint ever made, but manages to encapsulate the book's exploration of how, in your words, "any human interaction" with the natural world "turns out  to be devastating in unexpected ways." The thrust of this observation pervades your book, which is a place where "the forest fills and unfills, drops itself down root tubes and turns to dark lace." Where does this vision of our relationship with nature spring from? How would you characterize your relationship with the natural world?

Continue reading ""Intellect, anxiety, philosophy, history, art": Rachel Abramowitz and Tina Cane in Conversation [by Kristina Marie Darling]" »

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I left it
on when I
left the house
for the pleasure
of coming back
ten hours later
to the greatness
of Teddy Wilson
"After You've Gone"
on the piano
in the corner
of the bedroom
as I enter
in the dark

from New and Selected Poems by David Lehman

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