Matthews with David Wojahn and James Harms
James Harms and David Wojahn conducted this
interview in William Matthews's New York City apartment in October
of 1995, two years before the poet's death. Matthews had just published Time & Money,
his ninth collection of verse, which went on to win the National
Book Critics' Circle Award in poetry for that year. As this and other
published interviews with Matthews attest, he was a brilliantly gifted
conversationalist—loquacious, genial, and witty, not someone
who loved to hear himself talk, but a man whose talk made the same
sorts of playful imaginative leaps and serendipitous discoveries
that characterize his poems. It was a spacious apartment, but Matthews's
study was fairly small, and, as Matthews mentions in the interview,
his desk faced one of its walls, not its windows. The apartment contained
a large number of books, and an astonishing collection of jazz and
opera CDs. Opera was one of the abiding passions of Matthews's later
life, and he had recently begun to write reviews of New York productions—in
part, he told us, to make money to spend on more CDs.
Matthews was working on
several projects, but mainly on the poems which would comprise his
posthumously published collection, After All, and on the translations
of Horace, which would also be published after his death.
Interview with Jake Adam York
In April of 2005, poet and critic Jake Adam York met with Blackbird editor
Gregory Donovan at the annual Associated Writing Programs' conference in Vancouver,
British Columbia. They talked about the four poems published in Blackbird,
Vol. 3 No. 2, and about York's forthcoming poetry collection, Murder Ballads.
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