Don Share – VIDA Voices & Views

January 19, 2016 | by VIDA | 6 | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , ,


About This Episode:

This episode of VIDA Voices & Views is the first of a two-part interview featuring poet and editor, Don Share. In this segment, Melissa Studdard interviews Share, who reads his poem “Food for Thought” from the collection Squandermania and discusses topics ranging the power of the imagination to effect change in the world to Poetry magazine’s open door policy to language’s complicity in the mania for squandering resources.

About Don Share:

Beloved poet and Poetry magazine editor, Don Share, was a 2015 recipient of VIDA’s “VIDO” Award for his contributions to American literature and literary community. In addition to being the author and editor of over a dozen books, including Wishbone, Union, Bunting’s Persia, Seneca in English, Squandermania and The Open Door: 100 Poems, 100 Years of POETRY Magazine, which he co-edited with Christian Wiman, Share is an accomplished translator, whose renditions of Miguel Hernández were awarded the Times Literary Supplement Translation Prize and the Premio Valle Inclán. As well, Share’s work at Poetry has been recognized with three National Magazine Awards for editorial excellence from the American Society of Magazine Editors, and a CLMP “Firecracker” Award for Best Poetry Magazine. Share is celebrated in the literary community for his generosity, innovativeness, and warm wit.

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Don Share Quotes from This Episode of VIDA Voices & Views:

“I don’t know of a poet who doesn’t write out of the impulse to say, ‘The world could be better.’ That’s sort of the plot of every decent poem.”

“What we all do when poetry is at its best is activate the imagination—because to solve problems, and to create a world in which any kind of justice obtains, the imagination has to work.”

“The open door doesn’t just mean everybody gets to walk through. What it means is that somebody greets you.”

“People talk about privilege and gatekeeping, but the way I look at it, it isn’t about anything more than my having a chance to put your work in front of a really big audience—and that’s all we exist to do.”

“I ask myself, ‘How can I keep thought going in a world where everything is being squandered relentlessly by all of us?’”

“If you look all over the world, at images from the most troubled places, you see women having to pay the price for the violence that occurs—whether it’s domestic violence or warfare or poverty, it’s women who have to convert all kinds of emotions and disadvantages into a world that makes it possible for somebody else to survive.”

“When people leave the room, and the best poets have spoken to them, they aren’t the same.”

6 Comments to 'Don Share – VIDA Voices & Views'

  • Lois says:

    I was surprised and gratified to discover Don reads all submissions. Also the idea that he and Christina watch a poet’s career and keep track of their submissions over time. Don takes the time to respond when a particular poem is met with a positive response. That means a great deal. What I truly loved about this first segment of the interview is Don’s tremendous affinity for the poetry world and its process. It’s heartening to hear that one of the top editors is still excited by the vitality and power of words. I also appreciated his sense of integrity about the larger picture of poetry knowing how times and editors too must change for the greater good of the publication.

    Melissa, your encompassing questions and tangible engagement with your guest made for an authentic, sentient experience. I’ve listened twice but will return again over time because there is more to take away. Beautifully done.

  • Ami Kaye says:

    I finally had a chance to listen carefully to this excellent interview! I found so many points of interest in this conversation. It is quite amazing that the editors personally read each submission. I was struck by the philosophy and process of evaluating work for POETRY magazine, and enjoyed listening to Don read “Food for Thought.” It was a pleasure for me to attend Don’s breakout session with P & W last year in Chicago so I was even more interested listening in to this engaging interview. There was a natural and comfortable tenor to the conversation, and so many wonderful moments that resonated with me. Bravo, Melissa and Don!

    • Melissa Studdard says:

      Hi, Ami! Thank you for taking the time to leave this thoughtful feedback. I’m so pleased that you enjoyed the watching the interview and hearing Don read. I too loved listening to “Food for Thought.”

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