Rare William Fuller interview posted on Flood Editions

By Harriet Staff

Michael Cross, on his blog The Disinhibitor, has written about poet William Fuller, who JH Prynne has called the “Secrecy Officer of American Poetry,” and his new book, Hallucination, which is excitingly just out on Flood Editions.

In addition, Flood has recently reposted a very rare interview with Fuller, who has for years been employed as a trust administrator in a Chicago bank. The interview, originally from a 2007 issue of Quid, finds the poet in conversation with Eirik Steinhoff about Prynne, Tom Raworth, John Ashbery, redefining metaphysical poetry, negotiating a corporate job within a life of contemplation, "Renaissance Neoplatonism vis-à-vis the occult and then this political ferment in the 1640s and early 1650s," and the Chicago scene in the late 1980s, among many many other things.

WF: I clearly don’t have the luxury of being outside that [business] world, to make such observations. I encounter people here as people; I have my favorites and my not-favorites. I don’t see them as manipulated by a discourse whose motives they don’t understand—many of them have acute understandings of the most subtle nuances of that discourse and offer hilarious insights. So to stand outside and comment ironically on the whole of it would seem adolescent to me....That said, I’m pretty much alienated from everything...so the idea is to bounce the alienations against one another.

Our former head of trust sales once called me “the ultimate chameleon.” “And believe me,” he said, “as a salesman, that’s the highest compliment I can give.”

ES: With apologies to Keats, perhaps we should start identifying you as that special breed of amphibian, the “chameleon poet-executive.”

WF: I’ve always preferred Clare to Keats.

ES: Why’s that?

WF: His laissez faire approach to spelling and punctuation, among other things.

Read the full interview here.

Originally Published: May 10th, 2011