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Finally, CAConrad Interviews Emily Hunt

By Harriet Staff

Emily Hunt

Now it all makes sense. Nomadic Ground brings us an interview with Emily Hunt, author of the “beautiful, funny, painterly, and terrifying” poetry collection Dark Green (The Song Cave, 2015). Hunt talks to CAConrad about topics she might only talk to CAConrad about, including making a solid object elastic, painting poems specific colors (“pale green,” she says, our emphasis), and more, like so:

CA:
“Amspreat” is a brand new word. You are given the task to give it a definition. Is it a noun, verb, adjective, what? What does it mean? Please use it in a sentence.

Hunt:
amspreat: n. a nonsentient, genderless orb that generates – exerting no energy and spending no money – nutritious, delicious meals for its corresponding human on a nightly basis.
Your amspreat is now following you on Twitter.

CA:
What can poets do to change the destructive path we are all walking on together?

Hunt:
At this moment I do not feel I am walking on a destructive path. This excites me, and this makes me calm. I can find myself on a destructive path one minute and then not at all the next. The sense that I’m on a destructive path is ever-shifting; it arrives far, far less frequently than it did about 10 years ago, and possibly more frequently than it did when I was say, 5 years old.

Nothing is just negative and nothing is just positive, so it’s hard and fun to be a person walking on many paths at once. Anger, for instance, has been constructive for me, but anger can come from horrible sources and lead to horrible things, which sounds like destruction. Empathy has been constructive for me, but empathy can lead me astray. Listening can be constructive, and listening can be destructive, depending on content and context and actions that precede or follow.

I think, though, to stay off of destructive paths, people can aim to balance a looking inward (cultivating self-awareness, self-respect, warmth toward the self, an understanding of what you’ve experienced, escaped, embraced) with a looking and acting outward (observation, bold and honest conversations, generosity within personal interactions, curiosity about various individuals, warmth toward others, doing work that feels like a positive contribution). People can be at all times aware that they have no idea what others have experienced or imagined until they ask them, and people can see these potential scenarios of inquiry as exciting, path-changing, constructive opportunities.

Check out the full interview at Nomadic Ground.

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Posted in Poetry News on Wednesday, March 9th, 2016 by Harriet Staff.