Unmentionables: Poems

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That morning, I went back and started paging through my notebook of all these random little bits of conversations and memories that I kept waiting to add up to something. What if it is something, just a really small something? None of this was done with great forethought.

Unmentionables: Poems - eBook

No, not really. One of the things I am also curious about is your embrace of Mississippi. You mentioned how The Tilted World was a Southern story that needed to be told. And yet you seem to have done it and have embraced it as an identity.

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And so how has that happened for you as a person and a writer? I grew up in the South, in Tennessee. How can you do that? I grew up, as you say, in the Midwest. And the Midwest landscape and architecture, I understood intellectually why they were beautiful, or why I was supposed to find them beautiful. But when I moved to the South for the first time—for graduate school at the University of Arkansas in —I just loved it. It seemed to suit my personality in a weird way. I love storytelling, I love music. I like emphasis on family. All those things are interesting to me.

But it did. I met my husband the first day of graduate school. And now we have three children with Mississippi drawls. Has it ever been hard for you?

  • Unmentionables - Description | W. W. Norton & Company Ltd..
  • On the Front Line of Life: Stephen Leacock: Memories and Reflections, 1935-1944.
  • Reward Yourself.
  • Unmentionables.

Who are these people? And in Oxford, Mississippi, it was just fifty years ago that James Meredith integrated the school. So, it is something I think about a lot. What does it mean to be from this region and embrace this region, and yet just be determined to be part of the people who are working to change it for the better? You can definitely see your background as a poet. What do you see as the connection between poetry and memoir in this book, and more generally?

From poetry, what I love is that extreme compression and abbreviation and that lyrical explosion of the release. And from fiction, I love narrative tension. I love a page-turner quality. I like the storytelling. I like beginnings, middles, and ends. And from nonfiction, I love truth-telling. I love facts.

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And right now, because we are in an era of alternative facts, and truth is so malleable to some, I found my own insistence on the facts as maybe a weird reaction to that. My facts are just coming from my life, but—after spending four years writing a novel in the heads of characters—my own life seemed interesting to me again.

One of my favorite qualities of this book and your work as a whole is how humane it is. Reading Beth Ann Fennelly is like reading someone you would really like to know. I just really feel that way. I think people can over-claim that they know you when they read a book.

Sometimes, that can be really obnoxious. How do you feel like you achieve the balance between different tonalities that you work with? And how does that come out of your approach to drafting and revising? I would say one of the things I wanted was for it to be the me-est book possible, and to bring in all the parts of me, and even the ugly parts. But I wanted the full range of human emotions, particularly my human emotions.

Part of that for me is not keeping humor out, too, which is something that I did when I was younger. None of your libraries hold this item. Found at these bookshops Searching - please wait We were unable to find this edition in any bookshop we are able to search.

UNMENTIONABLE MATTERS by Kwame Dawes | Poetry Foundation

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The University of Melbourne Library. Open to the public. None of your libraries hold this item. Found at these bookshops Searching - please wait We were unable to find this edition in any bookshop we are able to search. These online bookshops told us they have this item:. Tags What are tags?