Tuesday, February 24, 2009

the poet as novelist

I just spent a wonderful two days with Robert Coover, visiting us as a Writers House Fellow, our first of three this spring (next up is Joan Didion). The reading Bob gave last night was riveting. He read all languagy stuff - prose-poems, really. Antic, thick with sound, featuring some of his many imitative American voices. I wanted him to do an encore of "The Fallguy's Faith," his brilliant 1.5-page piece about Humpty Dumpty, which reads like a gone-awry thesaurus of American idioms around falling and fallen. Fortunately Bob Coover came back this morning and I had the opportunity to interview him and moderate a discussion with others, both there at the House and about 35 people watching the live video stream. And I asked him to read the Humpty piece this morning. Here are your links:

[] our Coover page with links to video of the reading and the interview, and audio-only mp3's of both;

[] a few photographs from Coover's 3-hour session with the students in my Fellows seminar;

[] the text of Vince Levy's introduction to Coover at the Monday night reading.

[] photographs of the visit (by John Carroll)