Vincent Katz Interviewed for Dichtung Yammer

Vincent Katz Interviewed for Dichtung Yammer

Vincent Katz was recently interviewd by Thomas Fink for Dichtung Yammer about his book Swimming Home. Here's an excerpt from the interview:

Thomas Fink: What is your rationale for Swimming Home’s division into three sections?

Vincent Katz: Well, it was interesting selecting the poems for this book. It was a long process of selection, arrangement and integration. I wanted to have the long poems together, and at first we thought of having them first. But that kind of depleted the reader’s attention. There was nothing left after that! Then we thought maybe move them to the end; a lot of books end with a long poem, or with longer poems. But again, it felt too heavily weighted. So finally, we realized if we put them in the middle then it balanced the book, and attention could swing one way or another. I originally had the book in two sections, but it felt lopsided. Three feels just right. The final section contains the most recent poems, so in a sense, it was the easiest to sequence. The first section is earlier poems. Some of them go back to 2000, 2001, 2002, and then continue through 2010. Within each of the three sections, the poems had to be sequenced in terms of style and subject for maximum dramatic impact. In the second section, for example, it seemed better to start with the poem “Swimming Home,” rather than “Barge,” which predates it, and then end the section with an earlier poem, “Hadrian,” as a kind of coda. I am very conscious of the effect of sequencing and try to treat the book as a musical piece. “Swimming Home” is the title poem, and it seemed most dramatically effective to have it begin the second, central, section. It puts focus on it, but also the reader is prepared for it, having already read the first section. And then, in the final section of the book, I am into a different kind of writing, one I wanted to highlight by giving it its own section. It also contains the most recent poetry in the book. I decided to end the book with a long poem, sort of the ultimate statement of that poetic at this point.

Read the full interview here