Monday, Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky entered "The Fray," Slate's reader-discussion forum, for an hourlong discussion. The following is an edited transcript of the chat.
Robert Pinsky was named poet laureate of the United States in March 1997. His special project as poet laureate is the Favorite Poem Project, which will create an audio and video archive featuring Americans from all walks of life reading aloud a beloved poem. He is the author of five books of poetry, including The Figured Wheel: New and Collected Poems 1965-1995, which was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize and received the 1997 Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize. He is Slate's poetry editor.
What have you been reading lately?
The letters between Ezra Pound and William Carlos Williams: They met in college, and it's wonderful as well as a little sad to follow the devotion, the ups and downs ... Pound spent his last night in America at Williams' house.
Excellent, I will look for it. I used a WCW video--"Voices and Visions," I think--to work with talented middle school students this summer. I also used your poem "Shirt" with the same students.