About This Episode: This episode of VIDA Voices & Views, produced by R.J. Jeffreys, 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.
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.”