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Questions?

  • Literature
    202-885-2971
    Fax: 202-885-2938
    lit@american.edu
    Battelle Tompkins, Room 237

    Rangel-Mullin, Rebecca
    Sr. Administrative Assistant

Mailing Address

Kyle Dargan, Fall 2009

In Capital Letters: What authors/poets/books/poems/stories/writing do you return to again and again?

Kyle Dargan: For writing inspiration, none—nothing I return to "again and again." But my work is currently in conversation with poets like Elaine Equi, Terrance Hayes and Tony Hoagland.

 

ICL: What is your favorite and least favorite part of the writing process? The most surprising? The most challenging?

KD: The space between the end of the last book and the unknown beginning of the next is most enjoyable.

 

ICL: What was the first piece of writing you ever wrote, and when?

KD: Maybe a radio drama using the soundboard from the Toejam and Earl video game.

 

ICL: Are certain techniques central to your writing?

KD: Trying to make each line in a poem its own functioning ecosystem.

 

ICL: Are certain themes central to your work?

KD: God (not joking).

 

ICL: How have those themes changed over the years?

KD: God has gotten cooler, or at least a slightly more liberal (not joking).

 

ICL: How do your poems come to you? For example, is it by an image, character, line, phrase, idea?

KD: My head is like an atom smasher. I just move through the world letting stray ideas and images fly in there until they start colliding and making new isotopes.

 

ICL: Do you have a set writing schedule/any writing rituals?

KD: I've actually fallen out of writing lately with all the stress in my life. I did just finish the second draft of a book. So, I am not letting it concern me just yet. My schedule is to write when I have to, and I know when those times are. It's when you know if you don't write something in that instant, you will lose it. And I've lost enough to know what is at stake when that feeling comes around.

 

ICL: If your life had a theme song right now, what would it be?

KD: "Wait Till I Get My Money Right," Kanye West.

 

ICL: Tell us something about yourself that most people don't know.

KD: That they don't "really" know me.

 

ICL: What projects are you working on right now?

KD: As a said earlier, I am sharpening up a new manuscript and trying to keep my head above water with my magazine, POST NO ILLS. Oh, and getting tenure. That's somewhat new to me, having switched from being a distinguished mercenary-in-residence to a full-time trooper.

 

ICL: If you weren't focused on writing, what would you be doing?

KD: I just bought a house. It's like having a toddler that doesn't speak. So, I'd be raising my kid…I mean house.

 

New Fire

Will burn blindly as the old.
All fairness in ash,
in the hands of those whose job it is
to sift through flame's wake.
No coincidencean oven mitt
left on the stove or space-heater
toppled by the dog.
It will begin composedhushed on its perimeter,
inverted hurricanethe fury set inside,
rooted in wind.
It will detonate, denote: collapsing nations,
resculpting postcard facades. It will die slowly
under the rubble.

Leave your hose, suck the ladder back into the truck.
This is your new blaze—glowing debris,
damage dealt three card monte. Shuffle
your thoughts, raise your visor.
With your hands, try to find things human.



Kyle Dargan

Creative writing prof Kyle Dargan

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