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The Writers Forum at SUNY Brockport

William Heyen -- Poet

Host(s): Stan Sanvel Rubin

Tape order number: C-519

Visit Date: March 22, 1978

Length: 55 minutes

Published as:

  • "The Swastika Poems: A Conversation." William Heyen. and Stan Sanvel Rubin, Eds eds. Manassas Review 1.3-4 (Summer/Fall 1978): 34-51.

Brief Summary: William Heyen discusses the origination of The Swastika Poems as his confrontation of a heritage that haunted him to a point that required exploration. He speaks of the difficult process which these harsh and real poems brought him through and his need to compose "from a distance". Heyen addresses the issues that surround topics such as the Holocaust, asking the question: "Can and should they be written about?"

Work(s) Read:

  • "Riddle"
  • "Simple Truths"
  • "Evegan Melodian"
  • "The Swastika Poems" published in American Journal
  • "The Jewish Children"

Art comes out of obsession

-- William Heyen

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