blackbird online journal spring 2002 vol.1 no. 1

A joint venture of the Department of English at Virginia Commonwealth University and New Virginia Review, Inc.


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William 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.

An 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.

Interviews are added as they become available. Interviews appear in different sections of Blackbird but are organized in this alternative menu to allow easy navigation.

An "Interviews" menu link may be found on every interview-related page. Use it to return to this menu.