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Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Katrina Vandenberg on her residency in Amy Clampitt's house

In this interview excerpt, cablecast on June 7, 2009, Saint Paul poet Katrina Vandenberg describes her time as poet in residence at the house of Amy Clampitt (1920-1994).

Education and encouragement are the jobs of that educational establishment that somehow keeps thinking and creation going from generation to generation. Universities, foundations, public agencies, professional associations, libraries – all contribute something to making possible the work of the new poets and scholars and critics. In this space, I want to try to understand how such encouragement succeeds, what efforts are worth making.

What I find most striking about this opportunity is that it allowed person-to-person contact between people who had never met. Katrina had total freedom to explore as deeply as she wanted the life and mind of the other poet. The terms of meeting were left open, in the way they are open in an actual introduction.

I am intrigued by any educational opportunity that preserves freedom.

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