What do you get when you mix a Bible, a belly dancer and 2,523 banjos? If you pick up Scott Poole’s new collection of poems, The Sliding Glass Door, it won’t be long before you find out. He’s gotten some great poetry nods recently. Last month Garrison Keiler read one of his poems on his national poetry show, The Writer’s Almanac. (Heard on OPB at the end of the Think Out Loud rebroadcast at about 9:55 p.m.)
On the back of the book, Oregon’s Poet Laureate Paulann Petersen describes his poems as bending toward the elegaic (which means “having a mournful quality” — I had to look it up) and the poignantly surreal.
Poole also has a unique regular poetry gig: being the house poet for Live Wire!, the radio variety show that airs on OPB. One of his duties is listening to the hour-long show and writing a poem inspired by the interviews, sketches and music and then reading it outloud from stage at the end of the show. Sounds terrifying to me. We’ll ask him how he manages to avoid a nervous breakdown four times a month — among other questions.
Check out a poem from The Sliding Glass Door as it developed through three different drafts.
What do you appreciate about the poetry of Scott Poole? Do you like hearing a poem read aloud as opposed to reading it to yourself? What questions do you have for Scott Poole?