#AWP16 Featured Presenter Q&A with Laura Kasischke

AWP | February 2016

Event Title: Fables, Fibs, and Flat-Out Lies: The Material of Making, Sponsored by Copper Canyon Press
Description: Whatever the chosen form, making is a dominant force in any artist's life. For writers, the creative material—language—is simultaneously precise and slippery, irreducible and expansive; metaphor is a lie that tells the truth, and image a construct made from the sound and meaning of language. This reading features three writers who practice various literary and artistic forms—fiction, poetry, nonfiction, and painting—and will be followed by a conversation moderated by their editor.
Participants: Laura Kaischke, Roger Reeves, Richard Siken, and Michael Wiegers
Date & Time: Saturday, April 2, 2016, 4:30pm – 5:45pm         

Q: What are some of the conference events (besides your own) and/or bookfair exhibitors you are most excited to see?
A: I’m especially excited to hear Ellen Bryant Voigt read her poetry, as she is one of the best poets and readers I’ve ever heard. And I’ve never had the pleasure of hearing Natasha Tretheway in person, although I’ve been a fan of her poetry for a long time.

Q: What book or books that you’ve read over the last year would you most highly recommend?
A: My fellow Michigander poet, Z.G. Tomaszewski, just won the Hong Kong University International Poetry Prize for his stunning first collection All Things Dusk.  And Jean Valentine’s Shirt in Heaven is her very best, I think. 

Q: Given how much time writers spend alone to practice their craft, what do you think are the advantages of creating the large community that exists at the AWP conference? 
A: It’s a nearly surreal experience to see so many old friends at one time in one place.

Q: What question that you’ve never been asked before would you like to ask yourself? And how would you answer that question?
A: Q: To the poetry of which contemporary would you recommend that everyone pay more attention because she’s a genius? A: Laura Jensen!

Q: Outside of the conference, what about Los Angeles are you looking forward to? Are there any Los Angeles activities you would recommend to conference attendees? 
A: I’ve never been beyond the airport in LA.  I’m looking forward to everything!


Laura KasischkeLaura Kasischke has published nine novels and eight collections of poetry.  She received the National Book Critics Circle Award for Space, In Chains. Other honors include a Guggenheim Fellowship and two grants from the NEA. (Photo credit: Patrice Normand/Opale)

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