Interview with Rick Barot (CRF 2011) on his new book of poems, “The Galleons.”
From Rick: “What I know is that over the course of four books, I’ve been working out—sometimes consciously, oftentimes not—what the lyric means to me. In my first two books I took for granted poetry’s status as a kind of heroic genre, a genre that could render the complexities of personal experience as well as larger political, social, and cultural complexities. Because of that, my first two books are in a kind of high poetic mode. This started to change with the poems in Chord, which I wrote in the late 2000s and early 2010s, when there was so much anxiety in our national psyche. Of course, in retrospect, that period now seems like a fire drill compared to the noxious moment in history where we have arrived. I wrote the poems in Chord with an increasing distrust in what poetry, and art in general, could do in the face of so much political and social distress. This resulted in poems that were hesitant in delivering the kinds of poetic goods that my poems had aimed for—like epiphanic closures or gestures. I wanted the poems to be more direct, plain, expository. That continued in the poems in The Galleons.”
Read the full interview here.