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The Writers Forum at SUNY Brockport

Richard Hugo -- Poet

Host(s): William Heyen and Anthony Piccione

Tape order number: VF-30

Visit Date: October 16, 1974

Length: 1 hour

Brief Summary: Hugo discusses the importance of place in his writing, and says that regionalism is the testing of one's life against the weather and the landscape of a place. He doesn't seek to tell the truth about the outer world; rather, he plays off it in search of some truth about himself. he says that the characters in his poems are more a psychological manifestation of his efforts toward self-acceptance than they are willed personae; poetry, more than prose, allows him to explore his darker side. Hugo also talks at length about his time in Italy.

Work(s) Discussed:

  • "Helena--Where Homes Go Mad"
  • Good Luck in Cracked Italian

Work(s) Read:

  • "West Marginal Way"
  • "Death of the Kapowsin Tavern"
  • "In Stafford Country"
  • "Kennedy Uchizzo"
  • "Belt"

Writers mentioned:

  • Theodore Roethke
  • Henry James
  • Edgar Allen Poe
  • William Butler Yeats
  • W. H. Auden
  • William Stafford
  • Richard Howard

I believe . . . all poets are regionalists, and have been for at least a couple of centuries.

-- Richard Hugo

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