Q & A: American Poetry

Q & A American Poetry: Maxine Kumin

Do other aspects of your life (for instance, gender, sexual preference, ethnicity) figure more prominently than nationality in your self-identity as a poet?

Gender of course figures prominently in my poetry, as I think it must in the poetry of most American women poets of the nineties. So much is still unsaid about our inner lives, our place in the family constellation, our desires, failures, successes, our identification with the natural world, and so on. Since we write out of who we are, we must continue to define that role and to see ourselves in relation to the political structure, religion, and history. A tall order but one we will doubtless fulfill in the next hundred years.

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