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访谈:黛博拉·艾泽(Deborah Ager)

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黛博拉·艾泽( Deborah Ager)访谈


时间:2008 年5月 9 日
访问者:迪斯特文化网站文艺编辑肖恩·威士特佛


        肖恩·威士特佛/文 武靖东/译



  上个月是国家诗歌月【1】。要不是诗人们和诗歌的狂热追求者都参加了庆祝活动,这次访谈就不会搁置。本地诗人和强有力的人物黛博拉·艾泽是《32首诗》诗刊幕后的主心骨,这个刊物是美国最值得敬重的诗刊之一,一个在短时间打开局面、引起关注和发表过布里格特·派庚·凯利(Brigit Pegeen Kelly)和前任美国桂冠诗人贝利·柯林斯(Billy Collins)这样一些著名诗人作品的刊物。艾泽和《32首》诗刊是今晚位于贝塞斯达区【2】的作家中心“诗歌和音乐”节目的主角,同时还有本地诗人桑德拉·贝斯莉(Sandra Beasley)和伯纳黛特·翟耳(Bernadette Geye)的诗朗诵以及由加勒比乐队演奏的歌曲登场。
  迪斯特网站(DCist)文艺编辑肖恩·威士特佛(Shawn Westfall)对艾泽作了有关《32首诗》诗刊的缘起和她自己的诗歌写作背景的访谈。(以下简称迪斯特)


迪斯特:为什么这份诗刊名叫《 32首诗》? 它有什么含义?

  我喜欢数字。32,从算术角度而言,它碰巧就是分两次阅读诗歌的最适当的数量,对一本小杂志来说也是个整数。实际上,它也有些郑重的意味。


迪斯特:什么因素促使你对诗歌产生了兴趣?你第一次写诗是在什么时候? 因何而写?

  从我能够阅读的时候起我就喜欢上了诗歌。 我最初特别喜欢的诗人是克里斯蒂娜·罗塞蒂(Christina Rossetti)。她的一首诗作发表在我爷爷给我的一本诗歌书上。后来,有一次,我就读的学校邀请一位诗人来访,那是大概是我最初12年上学生活中最美好的一天。

迪斯特:对你有影响的有哪些人? 你特别喜爱的诗人有哪些? 在本地又喜欢哪些诗人?

  我阅读面广, 但不是所有的都是诗歌。我读实证心理学,各种君王传记,虚构小说,短篇小说以及商务方面的书籍。我喜爱的诗人有伊莉莎白·毕肖普,西尔维亚·
普拉斯,安东尼·海克特(Anthony Hecht),谢默斯·亨利(Seamus Heaney) ,翟楚德·赛莱肯柏格(Gjertrud Schnackenberg),等等一些人。

迪斯特:告诉我有关《 32首诗》的情况。你们是以当地诗人为重点,还是延伸到了全国范围?

  我们在《32首诗》诗刊上已经刊发了许多华盛顿特区的诗人——如伯纳黛特·翟叶(Bernadette Geyer)、卡热·莫里森-泰勒(Kathi Morrison-Taylor)、理查德·皮鲍迪(Richard Peabody)的作品。但是我们不偏重华盛顿特区或德克萨斯州拉伯克市(Lubbock)的哪个诗人,顺便说一下,在我们的诗歌编辑约翰 ·庖茨那里有底册。我们刊物还发表过生活在爱尔兰,意大利和印度的一些诗人的作品。
    我们感到自豪的是,发表了一些你立刻能叫出名字的最好的诗人的力作:
如布里格特·派庚·凯利(Brigit Pegeen Kelly), 贝利·柯林斯(Billy Collins), 威廉·洛根(William Logan), 西德尼·威德(Sidney Wade), A.E.斯陶林(A.E. Stallings), 翟里·多兰(Geri Doran)。我们在《32首诗》每期目录网页(http://32 poems.com/issues.html)上列出了他们的名单。

迪斯特:与一些作家不同的是,你已经应用科技手段来大力宣扬诗歌的价值,为什么? 你认为它有益处吗? 弄得怎么样?

  我的确认为写博客好处多。 关于这一点我最近在我的博客上写过点东西。 虽然有一些诗人嘲弄博客, 但是我发现我的博客,对于启迪思维、项目合作、拓宽办刊和自己写作的思路都有很大的益处。我也乐意在博客上推介我推崇的诗人们的作品。这是个有用有利的好事情。
    这也勉强算得上是一个共同合作的例子吧:我已经把一些诗人在30天里每天写的一首诗收集起来。从4月底开始,我会至始至终这样做。
    在我开始写博客的时候,对于我要做什么也曾无所适从。但随着时间推移,它有了很大进展。我开始把它当成与其他人共同参与办刊事务的一种途径——因为有那么多的人在询问我要怎么做——我随时在思考我说过的、得回答的全部话题,我在博客上写下了我对诗歌艺术、我喜欢的诗、我的生活以及社会的看法。尽管如此,我主要还是把话题集中在诗歌、诗歌事件、传播诗歌新闻等方面。

迪斯特:白天你在干吗?

  我在网上工作。 我是在线分类行销人员, 为增加网站访问量出谋划策和提供技术支持。

迪斯特:你对本地华盛顿特区诗坛有什么看法?喜欢本地作家、小说家和博客吗?

  我有一个2岁的女儿。因此我没有多少时间介入诗歌活动现场。我羡慕丹·维拉(Dan Vera)和迈克尔·伽斯苏( Michael Gushue),他们有时间星期三晚上在“书之岸”(Brookland)朗诵诗歌。我也挺喜欢听诗人们在市区旅馆“诗歌表演时间”(the Burlesque Poetry Hour)的朗诵,凯姆·罗伯兹(Kim Roberts)是特区所有诗歌活动的牵头人,我当然知道勤奋工作的理查德·皮鲍迪(Richard
Peabody)——实际上我过去在“维杰尼亚艺术创作中心”外面和他见过面。这里大学里的活动一直安排得很热闹,美国国会图书馆也是。我也有好多事情要做。这是个很好的地方。



(“诗歌和音乐”节目,今晚8点在位于马里兰州贝塞斯达区沃尔什街4508号的作家中心举行,免门票。)


【译注1】DCist,就是“华盛顿特区人”的意思,是美国华盛顿特区的一个综合文化性出版媒体,建有网站。
【译注2】美国国家诗歌月,由美国诗人协会于1996 年发起,每年4月,美国各地的出版人、书商、各种全国性文学组织、图书馆、学校和诗人都以诗歌文化为主题,隆重举行诗朗诵、书展等各种形式的庆祝活动。
【译注3】贝塞斯达(Bethesda),是美国马里兰州蒙加马利县的一个未被承认为自治组织的地区,恰好在华盛顿特区西北部,是美国最富有、中学教育质量最好的地方之一。




附录:原文
May 9,
2008
DCist Interview: Deborah Ager
Last month was National Poetry Month. But for poets and proselytizers of poetry,
the work never stops. Local poet and human dynamo Deborah Ager is the driving
force behind 32 Poems, one of the most respected poetry journals in the country,
one that has, in the short time its been around, attracted the attention and the
work of such notable poets as Brigit Pegeen Kelly and former U.S. Poet Laureate
Billy Collins. Ager and 32 Poems are co-hosting Poetry and Music tonight at The
Writer’s Center in Bethesda, combining poetry readings from local poets Sandra
Beasley and Bernadette Geyer with songs performed by the group The Caribbean.
DCist interviewed Ager about the origins of 32 Poems and her own poetic
background.
Why 32 Poems? What's the significance of that title?

I like numbers. 32 happens to be, mathematically speaking, the best number of
poems to read in two sittings, and the perfect number for a small magazine.
Almost sacred, in fact.
What prompted your interest in poetry? When did you first start writing poetry?
Why?

I've loved poetry since I was able to read. My first favorite poet was Christina
Rossetti. A poem of hers appeared in a book of poetry my grandfather gave me.
Once, later, a poet visited my school for the Poets in the Schools Program. That
was about the best day in the first 12 years of my education.
Who are some of your influences? Some of your favorite poets? Favorite local
poets?

I read a lot, not all of it poetry. I read books on positive psychology, history
of various monarchs, fiction, short stories, and business books.
My favorite poets include Elizabeth Bishop, Sylvia Plath, Anthony Hecht, Seamus
Heaney, Gjertrud Schnackenberg and many others.
Tell me about the 32 Poems. Is your emphasis on local poets, or does your reach
extend nationwide?

We have published a number of DC poets (Bernadette Geyer, Kathi Morrison-Taylor,
Richard Peabody). But we don’t emphasize DC -- or Lubbock, by the way, where our
poetry editor John Poch is based. Some of our poets live in Ireland, Italy and
India.
We’ve been proud to publish strong work from some of the finest poets you could
name right now: Brigit Pegeen Kelly, Billy Collins, William Logan, Sidney Wade,
A.E. Stallings, Geri Doran. We list them at http://32poems.com/issues.html.
Unlike some writers, you've embraced technology as a way of shouting the value
of poetry from the treetops. Why? And do you think it's beneficial? How?

I do find blogging beneficial. I wrote about this on my blog recently. Although
some poets deride blogs, I've found mine useful for generating ideas,
collaborating on projects, getting ideas for the magazine and my own writing. I
enjoy promoting the work of poets I admire. It is useful work and good work.
As an example of a collaboration of sorts, I've gotten together with a small
group of other poets to write one poem each day for 30 days. I’ll do this all
the way through the end of April.
When I started my blog, I was 100% clueless as to what I was doing. But it has
evolved over time. I started it as a way to share the ins-and-outs of running a
magazine -- because so many people were asking me how to do that -- and whenever
I thought I’d said all I had to say on that topic, I began blogging about poetry
in general, poems I like, my life, the world. Mostly, though, I like to focus on
poetry, poetry events, promoting poetry presses, et cetera.
What do you do during the day?

I work in the web world. I'm an online marketing sort, providing ideas and
expertise to increase visitors to websites.
Give me your thoughts on the local Washington DC poetry scene? Favorite local
writers? Novelists? Blogs?

I have a two-year-old daughter, so I don't have much time for a poetry scene. I
admire Dan Vera and Michael Gushue for having a Wednesday night reading in
Brookland, and I've enjoyed listening to poets at the Burlesque Poetry Hour at a
hotel downtown. Kim Roberts is a major promoter of all things poetry in the DC
area, and it's
hard not to know the hard-working Richard Peabody (whom I actually met all the
way out at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts). The universities keep the
calendar lively, as does the Library of Congress. There’s plenty to do. It’s a
good place to be.
Poetry and Music. Tonight at The Writer’s Center, 4508 Walsh Street, Bethesda,
MD. 8 p.m. Free admission.
By Shawn Westfall in Arts and Events | Link | Recommend


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