Q & A: American Poetry

Q & A American Poetry: Timothy Liu

In what ways might you consider yourself an American poet?

Language. Baggage. Equipage.

Do you believe there is anything specifically American about American poetry past and present? Is there American poetry in the sense that there is said to be American painting or American film?

Money. Sex. Lies.

What role do historical and geographical factors play in American poetry and in your work specifically? What other aspects of your life (for instance: gender, sexual preference, class, ethnicity, religious beliefs) relate to your sense of being a poet in America?

Mormonism. Homosexuality. Resolution.

Is there something formally distinctive about American poetry?

Yes. No. Maybe.

What significance does popular culture possess in your sense of American poetry?

Distribution. Royalties. Rights.

When you consider your own "tradition," do you think of American poets, non-American poets? Which historic poets do you consider most responsible for generating distinctly American poetics?

Tu Fu. Tofu. Fu Man Chu.

What are your predictions for American poetry in the next century?

Good. Bye. Book.

Published 2010.

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