In English-language poetry, no assumption is more pervasive than that poetry and history oppose one another, no principle more conventional than that poetry and history are best kept apart. Shane McCrae, Jena Osman, and Bino A. Realuyo all three deny that assumption, and all three defy the accompanying convention. In Bound to the Past
, McCrae interviews Osman about her recent book Public Figures
, Osman interviews Realuyo about his recent book The Gods We Worship Live Next Door
, and Realuyo interviews McCrae about his recent book Blood
. Their conversations, complemented by an introduction by H. L. Hix and an afterword by Aby Kaupang, present a sometimes surprising and always intense inquiry into the possibilities for, and the implications of, active poetic with history.
AN EXCERPT FROM ABY KAUPANG
“McCrae, Osman and Realuyo are revolutionists. They continuously rotate the questions and the view.
Is it true that history repeats itself? That we haven’t learned? Are our eyes so weary that we’ve disengaged from the turning the human dilemmas over and over again?”
H. L. HIX‘s recent poetry collections include I’m Here to Learn to Dream in Your Language and As Much As, If Not More Than. His other volumes with Essay Press include The World Over, A&Q and the forthcoming Uncoverage: Conversations in a New Poetic World.
ABY KAUPANG, author of Little “g” God Grows Tired of Me, Absence is Such a Transparent House and Scenic Fences | Houses Innumerable, has had poems appear variously. She is currently acting as Fort Collins Poet Laureate. Kaupang holds master’s degrees in both creative writing and occupational therapy from Colorado State University. She lives in Fort Collins with the poet Matthew Cooperman and their two children.
SHANE MCCRAE is the author of four books of poetry, most recently The Animal Too Big to Kill, and a recipient of a Whiting Writer’s Award and a fellowship from the NEA. He teaches in the lowresidency MFA program at Spalding University, and at Oberlin College.
JENA OSMAN’s books of poems include Corporate Relations, Public Figures, The Network (selected for the National Poetry Series in 2009), An Essay in Asterisks and The Character (winner of the 1998 Barnard New Women Poets Prize). She is a Professor of English at Temple University, where she teaches in the MFA Creative Writing Program. She founded and edited the literary magazine Chain with Juliana Spahr for 12 years. Osman and Spahr now edit the occasional book series ChainLinks.
BINO A. REALUYO is a poet/novelist/essayist, community organizer and educator. He is the author of the novel The Umbrella Country and the poetry collection The Gods We Worship Live Next Door, and has edited two anthologies (The NuyorAsian Anthology: Asian American Writings About New York City and The Neyor Asian Anthology). His citations include: Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writers Award 2000 finalist, Booklist Top Ten First Novels of 1999, Poetry Society of America’s Lucille Medwick Memorial Award and a 2009 Philippine National Book Award for poetry. He attended graduate school at Harvard University with a leadership fellowship from the Kennedy School of Government. He writes regularly for The Huffington Post about the Filipino-American experience.