Friday, October 16, 2009

Renée Alberts: an Interview

Here's a little something for Friday: an interview with Pittsburgh poet Renée Alberts by Jan Beatty on her weekly show, Prosody.

Renée is an amazing woman and poet. Her interests are myriad, her attention to detail as fine as it gets. She has a photographer's eye, a journalist's sense of story, and a poet's soul. She is a friend of mine and has been an inspiration to me in my own work; when she preaches, it is by example, and it is a sermon well worth sitting through. She has great courage and great humor.

Listen to this interview. Carefully. Then listen again. Listen to the words. She is besotted by language yet always maintains a measured control. Her compassion is as large as her humor and her vision matches both.

She is a poet to pay attention to. She is paying attention to you.

Here is the opening poem from her chapbook, No Water, which you may hear her read at the link above.

Palm Sunday
Our yard this morning is full of wings
that close and spread to map
their lungs' pulse
as they drink,
veiny stained glass, red
as a hand held up
to the sun.

tomatoes go to vine.
Cabbage whites suck nectar
from their blossoms—lotuses
adrift on the chaos of
morning glory vines spiraling
hosta spires.

The cat stalks a monarch
feeding on zinnia.
She folds its wings
between her paws; this
is how we pray here, love—
with claws.
Renée Alberts

Like many a young poet, the world is her's.

I can't wait to watch her change it.

the winter fly
I spare, the cat
translated by David Lanoue



womanimal said...

D, I am touched. Thank you for your encouragement, and for being such a huge inspiration in the how-to and the what-for.

Issa's Untidy Hut said...

Listening to this interview again this morning was just wonderful ... the easy rapport with Jan was just great -

I was amazed that she was so surprised that you write sometimes when walking - it's a fairly common tradition, like meditative walking, helps sometimes to synch the cadence of words and steps. Perhaps, it's more of an Eastern thing, but anyway she won't be surprised the next time she hears it from another poet.

& you are very welcome ...

Ed Baker said...

hey DW

another via you discovery
for me

seems to me she has the secret (which really is no secret) that
one merely 'cultivates' one's

and pays attention to just what is in the details..

I really appreciated her reaching to answer the interviewer's questions...



speaking of radio poetry shows

you know the first poetry live radio was in Boston by Cid Corman... he did it with poets and without a script..


Issa's Untidy Hut said...

Hey, thanks, Ed, glad you liked the interview. RA is amazing - digging deep in that garden.

And thanks for the Cid reminder about poetry radio. Did someone have some of those shows up online or am I just thinking about some of his readings?

Ed Baker said...

here is a 'thing' about Cid's radio 'stuff'

and I think that penn sound has collected what readings are around of Cid reading...
I have two videos ( I think that I had Micah turn them into cd s at least the sound-tracks of)) one about an hour long of him reading George Evans introduces Cid and another
10 years or more later an half hour or so reading/talking..

exact same act...

you know

all around is that bed-wetting poem in first line is "-Ed-" well

it ain't me! "Ed" is nick-name of George Evans, who as a poet/person ain't no slouch, either.

Issa's Untidy Hut said...

Thanks, Ed ... yes, the pennsound, excellent stuff ...

Princess Haiku said...

I wandered in today and this poet is a delight. Such fresh, crisp and tangy language. Thanks for the intro and will look for more of her work.

Issa's Untidy Hut said...

Always glad to have you wander by ... very glad you connected with her work, which is very good, indeed.