Shut Up and Breathe: An Interview With Marcus McCann

June 21, 2017


…I had been doing this gumboot-in-a-washing-machine lyric for six or eight years, and I really like that sound in poetry—I will always love it. When I first started publishing, my goal was to maximize the density of certain hard sounds (P, B, K, T, D, G, especially). But it’s a lyric mode that suits certain subjects better than others: physical labor, big heavy things (a condo tower, exercise equipment), anonymous sex, rural and pastoral subjects, performative masculinity, awkhward social interactions . . . It’s like, I could never write a poem about a placid lake in that voice. Here’s what I’m talking about…

This interview was conducted mostly while I was in the Canary Islands, off the coast of Africa, in the days leading up the release of Shut Up Slow Down Let Go Breathe. I’m feeling very grateful for rob mclennan‘s generous interview style, and his kind words in the lead-off paragraph.

Read the whole interview here. Photo by N. Maxwell Lander


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