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The Writers Forum at SUNY Brockport

Galway Kinnell -- Poet

Host(s): William Heyen and Gergory Fitzgerald

Tape order number: VF-12

Visit Date: October 23, 1969

Length: 30 minutes

Published as:

  • "Deeper Than Personality: A Conversation with Galway Kinnel." Phillip L. Gerber and Robert J. Gemmet, Eds. The Iowa Review 1.2 (Spring 1970): 125-33.
  • "An Interview with William Heyen and Gregory Fitzgerald." In Walking Down the Stairs. Galway Kinnel, Ed. Ann Arbor: U of Michigan P, 1978. (1969 interview).

Brief Summary: Kinnell talks about the creative process, his use of metaphor and imagery, how a poem takes its own direction, how it can become a personal myth, how writing is self-exploration, and how that is tied to his own personal philosophy of being "one with the cosmos." He discusses aesthetics, talks about what makes a good war poem, and briefly talks about the audience for and the role of poetry in social issues.

Work(s) Discussed:

  • "The Porcupine"
  • Body Rags

Work(s) Read:

  • "How Many Nights"
  • "Vapor Trail Reflected in the Frog Pond"
  • "Another Night in the Ruins"
  • (last stanza) "The Bear"

Writers mentioned:

  • Robert Bly
  • W. S. Merwin
  • Robert Duncan
  • Denise Levertov
  • Gary Snyder
  • Etheridge Knight.

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