Penguin Books 2012
William Logan is often thought of as a critic first and a poet second, so his verse doesn’t get nearly the attention it deserves. In Logan’s poetry we don’t find the spooky discursiveness or the back-breaking effort to avoid lyrical expression we often encounter in contemporary poetry. Instead, what we find is a poet who writes poetry simply because he must. He’s inspired to write and doesn’t write to be inspired. His poetry is meticulously crafted and sensitive to the seen and the unseen world we inhabit. The poems in Madame X (Penguin Books, 2002) are the result of what happens when you put tremendous pressure on yourself and language at the same time: beauty, death, and love emerge with terrifying clarity. In our conversation, the poet and I discuss his time living between Florida and England, his undergraduate years at Yale where he worked closely with poet Richard Howard and television writer David Milch, teaching poetry workshops at the University of Florida, old girlfriends, and so much more. I hope you enjoy our conversation as much as I did.