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John Benditt in conversation with Nancy Pearl - University Bookstore Wednesday, February 25th, 7:00pm
Winter Reading: Bianca Stone
All Bianca, all the time. That has been our motto of late.
Not only will Octopus Books and Tin House be publishing Bianca Stones’s collection, Someone Else’s Wedding Vows, in March, but we are also lucky enough to be bringing her out to our 2014 Summer Writer’s Workshop.
To help tide you over until then, our Winter Reading issue features an excerpt (which you can read here) from her collection.
As we will do from time to time, we asked Bianca a few questions about her contribution to the issue.
Tin House: What was the biggest obstacle in writing “from Practicing Vigilance”?
Bianca Stone: The subject matter. This poem went through many drafts. It was hard to write about my father. I hated it. At first the poem was so damned vague–I couldn’t touch it. Then I was horrified by saying too much. I had to find a balance with my anger. It was probably the hardest poem I’ve ever written.
TH: When you read this story in the future, what do you think you’ll associate with the period of writing it?
BS: I’ll associate it with watching Star Trek, drinking too much, and reading War and Peace. But seriously, I wrote this poem in a very transitional time. I was realizing I had to be a warrior. I was scared, but I was determined to make it through. It was a dark and necessary time.
TH: Do you have any writing rituals?
BS: A holy hour: right after I make my cup of coffee/listen to WNYC, and before I check email. That’s when I love to write, one of the first things I do for the day. I’ll also bang away on my typewriter, so the poem’s raw; I can’t edit as I go. It helps me relax and not over-think things.
TH: The last sentence you underlined in a book?
BS: “You are allowed to leave out the bouquet toss, etc.”-A Practical Wedding by Meg Keene
TH: What is the next poem I should read?
BS: “Publication Date” by Franz Wright, from his book God’s Silence. Damn, that poem speaks to me.
Bianca Stone will be reading in Portland this Saturday as part of Bad Blood XXI.
Heavily influenced by a family of writers and artists, including the late poet Ruth Stone, Bianca Stone began writing poems at a very early age. She collaborated with the poet and essayist Anne Carson on Antigonick, published by New Directions in 2012. She lives in New York City.