What Is Poetry? (Just Kidding, I Know You Know): Interviews From the Poetry Project Newsletter (1983–2009)

Anselm Berrigan, editor
Published in 2017
by Wave Books

The Poetry Project at St. Mark’s Church in the East Village neighborhood of New York City was founded in 1966 as a community space for poets of the downtown poetry scene. Since its founding, the historic venue has held readings and conversations with influential figures such as Ted Berrigan, Samuel Delany, Allen Ginsberg, Victor Hernandez Cruz, Lisa Jarnot, Eileen Myles, Harryette Mullen, and Maggie Nelson. Edited by poet and former artistic director of the Poetry Project Anselm Berrigan, this anthology celebrates the fiftieth anniversary of the organization with interviews first published in their newsletter featuring writers discussing various topics including, Kenneth Koch characterizing anthologies, Alice Notley on the construction of narratives, Bernadette Mayer on her vocation as a writer, and Anne Waldman on the joys of collaboration. The anthology captures the lively spirit of the historic poetry scene and is an opportunity, as Berrigan writes in the introduction, “to speak directly to a community one could perceive as known, imaginary, expanding, unwieldy, intermittent, formative, desperately necessary, and sometimes peculiarly unsatisfying all at once.”