PATRICIA MURPHY.A Dozen Questions


12 Questions with Patricia Murphy


 

1. Hey Trish, which foreign language poet do you
most wish you could read in the original?

Rilke

Rilke.

 

 

 

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2. Hey Trish, do you carry a notebook? Got a phrase dashed in there that you just can’t shake?

2666

I keep notes on my iPhone. I listen to books as I run and sometimes have to stop to jot down a quote. Most recently I was listening to Bolano’s 2666 and had to stop mid-stride to capture the phrase:

“Maybe it was my madness that was laughing.”

I like to refer back to the notes as inspiration for poems.

 

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3. Hey Trish, what’s your submission process like?

Spreadsheet-heavy. Surprised? Anyhow, it’s pretty organized. I keep a lot of browser bookmarks with links to journals I admire. I also keep a Google Calendar just for deadlines so that I can submit about a month in advance.

 

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4. Hey Trish, got a favorite famous poet anecdote?

billycollinsjpg

I have kind of a fun AWP story with Billy Collins. It was at the New York Hilton, and he had just given a hilarious Irish-brogue infused talk with Frank McCourt. I happened to be riding in the elevator with Billy and I said to him, “I enjoyed your talk very much,” and I showed him my nametag, which read, “Patricia Colleen Murphy.” He said, “You should have been up there with us.” I was rendered mute, but in hindsight when I revise the story as my Irish father would have, my retort is a playful, “What, and ruin my reputation?”.

 

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5. Hey Trish, got a favorite lyricist? Or musician? Care to share a video?

Sun Kil Moon has this album Benji–all the songs feel like prose poems that Mike Kozelek just happened to try to fit to a tune. My favorite track is “ Ben’s My Friend”–he stops on these random refrains. “Blue Crab Cakes” “Sports Bar Shit.” Try to get that out of your head!

 

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6. Hey Trish, where’s your ideal place to write?

I can write just about anywhere as long as there is a certain amount of symmetry to the place. I don’t know why my mind works this way, but I have this photographer’s need to have balanced composition. I just moved to a new home so I’m currently working on perfecting my office space. I have a big window with a lovely view of south mountain. I have a walking desk and a seated desk but no chair–I use an exercise ball.

 

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7. Hey Trish, if you could insert yourself as a member into any historical art/literary “scene” what would it be?

the paris wife

Okay I just finished reading The Paris Wife by Paula McClain. I’d love to be in that interpretation of the Paris scene of the 1920’s. Her depictions of Pound, Stein, Fitzgerald and Hemingway are searing and wise. Also hilarious.

 

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8. Hey Trish, is there an on-line journal you think everyone should check out?

SR logo

Obviously Superstition Review. Am I allowed to say that? But also, I really like The Cortland Review since they have audio with each poem. As an editor I know how hard it is to collect audio from every contributor, so I still can’t believe they are able to do it. They have some great video features too.

 

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9. Hey Trish, what’s the last non-poetry book you loved?

6th extinction

Well, I have to say I really loved Lily King’s novel Euphoria. And Maggie Nelson’s book of art criticism The Art of Cruelty. The Sixth Extinction by Elizabeth Kolbert was a terrifying and fascinating read. Being Mortal by Atul Gawande was an important read for me this year.

 

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10. Hey Trish, what’s the last great poetry book you read?

Citizen

Sorry to give a list again, but this year so far has been:

Citizen by Claudie Rankine,

Black Aperture by Matt Rasmussen,

Housekeeping in a Dream by Laura Kasischke.

 

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11. Hey Trish, working on any projects you want to tell us about?

I am wrangling a memoir to the ground.

 

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12. Hey Trish, what do you read when you’re not reading poetry?

PMurphy2

A whole lot of memoir and nonfiction.

 

 

 

 

 

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[This Q&A was conducted in December 2015 and first published, via Facebook and Twitter, in January 2016.]

 


A Dozen Questions.PATRICIA MURPHY

A dozen poets. One a month. Nothing more.