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Interview With Poet Kim Bridgford

This week at the Poetry Blog of 32 Poems Magazine my interview with poet Kim Bridgford was posted.  She’s a contributor to the magazine and was a delight to interview, especially since she seems to have an obsession like mine — books.

First, let me tantalize you with a bit from the interview, and then you can go on over and check the rest out for yourself.

Without further ado, here’s the interview.

How would you introduce yourself to a crowded room eager to hang on your every word? Are you just a poet, what else should people know about you?

I would call myself “a woman poet entrepreneur.” I like making things happen and creating communities. For example, I edit Mezzo Cammin, an online journal of formalist poetry by women, which is now approaching its fifth anniversary, and I founded The Mezzo Cammin Women Poets Timeline Project, a comprehensive database of women poets, which was launched at the National Museum of Women in the Arts last March. These projects have brought poets together from all over the world. My new job is directing the West Chester Poetry Conference, so my preoccupations, in many ways, are all coming together.

Do you have any obsessions that you would like to share?

I’m obsessed by wonderful books. I loved Nick Flynn’s The Ticking Is the Bomb, for example, and Brigit Pegeen Kelly’s The Orchard. I was profoundly moved by Marilyn Nelson’s A Wreath for Emmett Till.

If I’m working on something, I am obsessed by reaching for what might seem impossible. I would rather have reached for excellence and fallen short than not have reached high enough in the first place. I don’t think there is enough grandeur in modern life.

Do you have any favorite foods or foods that you find keep you inspired? What are the ways in which you pump yourself up to keep writing and overcome writer’s block?

I don’t know that I’m inspired by food, but I currently live in Philadelphia: in other words, I can’t help finding wonderful food wherever I go.

I’m very work-obsessed, so writer’s block is not really an issue. The issue is finding time to write, given my other responsibilities.

She also included a sample poem:

Of Course

There’s no such thing as an ordinary cat.
Lucky Numbers 20, 34, 12, 7, 38, 2

There’s no real way to disagree with that.

A cat will place its faith upon the air,

Believing in the solid of somewhere.

There’s no such thing as an ordinary cat.

There’s no real way to disagree with that.

It brings a mouse as gift, or else a bird,

The way a poet springs upon a word.

There’s no such thing as an ordinary cat.

There’s no real way to disagree with that.

A cat and poet place themselves outside,

And find an open place in which to hide.

There’s no such thing as an ordinary cat.

A dog’s superior? Don’t tell me that.

If you want beauty, there’s the poet-cat.

From Take-Out, reprinted from Poem.

Please check out the rest of the interview on 32 Poems Blog.