The first time Rae Armantrout came on the show, in 2017, we looked at her poetry through the lens of her interest in quantum physics. Now, five years later, with the release of this double collection of poems, we look at her career-long desire to cultivate a poetics that encourages life to interrupt and interject within her poems, to disrupt what her constructing mind desires to write and change the poem’s trajectory. We look at this approach, and the resulting poems, through another of Rae’s longstanding interests: cognitive science, not only how we perceive or think, but how we construct meaning and to what end. This takes us many places, from anthropology to philosophy, but always returns us to the mysteries of language and language-making and to questions of selfhood, voice, and truth.
For the bonus audio archive Rae contributes a reading of many poems from her just-finished manuscript, giving us an early sneak peek of what is coming next for her. This joins bonus readings from Jorie Graham, Alice Oswald, Rosmarie Waldrop, Nikky Finney, Natalie Diaz, Layli Long Soldier, Forrest Gander, Arthur Sze, and many others. The bonus audio is only one potential benefit of becoming a supporter of the show and joining the Between the Covers community. There are many other gifts and rewards to choose from, all of which you can find at the show’s Patreon page.
Lastly here is this episode’s Bookshop with all the books mentioned today.