Poetry News

"If I had Roseanne Roseannadanna as my writing partner I have no doubt my stories and poems would have the time of their lives.": An Interview with Sabrina Orah Mark

By Harriet Staff

Sabrina Orah Mark took part in this interview with Black Warrior Review. She is also judging their poetry contest this year. Deadline approacheth!

Here's a bit:

BWR: How would you feel if a reader completely misunderstood your work, but loved their experience of it? I guess what I mean is, how much stake do you put in writer experience versus reader experience?

SOM: I love this question because my favorite part of a story or poem is when everybody misunderstands one another. If I had Roseanne Roseannadanna as my writing partner I have no doubt my stories and poems would have the time of their lives. Now they are only having the time of their loaves. Which is different. Which brings us to bread, which brings us back to mold. Which brings us back to the must. I’m not sure what my point here is, other than the fact there is a print above my writing desk that reads “FACTS MUST BE FACED” with an image of a rooster standing on top of a sheep standing on top of a pig standing on top of a cow. The cow is wearing the identical hat my grandfather, when he was alive, wore to synagogue.

BWR: Most of The Babies is in prose, and all of Tsim Tsum is in prose. You must get asked about prose poetry a lot. Are you still excited about it? What have you always wanted to say about prose poetry that you’ve never been asked?

I wish some bully in a playground would ask me, “if you love the prose poem so much why don’t you marry it?” And I would say, “but I have married the prose poem.” I would say, “He is the most handsome man in the world. And he is wise, and kind, and good, and he treats me like a queen.” I would say, “If I could I would marry the prose poem every day for the rest of my life.” And then my voice would get serious, and I would ask the bully if he knew up until about ten years ago it was illegal in this country for a white Jewish woman to marry a prose poem? At this the bully would probably cry and try to run away, but I would catch him by the collar and tell him the prose poem and I now have a beautiful son. I would show him photos of our beautiful son. “He too,” I would say, “is a prose poem. He speaks to the shadows.”

Full interview here.

Originally Published: August 30th, 2012