Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Writer Wednesday - Peter Longofono

I was lucky enough to have my very first workshop in grad school with Peter Longofono.  In addition to reading his work, which is wild, brilliant, and obsessed with the music of language, I also had the benefit of his incredible critiques, which were always leagues above what I was able to give him.  In addition to being a great mind and a great poet, he's one of the most generous and genuine people I know, and I believe his mind works like Wikipedia.  I'm so thrilled to be featuring him here today.

Who are you? I'm Peter Longofono. I make music and poems (and occasionally reviews) in New York City. I'm 25. My weaknesses are tiramisu and Celan.

Online Presence: I don't have my own site or anything, but I can point you toward some recent publications:  here and here and here.

The Hot Tub Pitch: I go for the precise and the unsettlingly weird. Most of my work looks at a situation going or about to go very wrong. I draw on Byzantium, jazz theory, architecture, astronomy, Germanic languages, and a host of other topics. I think the proximity of unlike objects does the most for poetry--the umbrella and the sewing machine, as Lautréamont and Breton put it--and that it's worthwhile to (violently) dislocate language in the process. The fact that much art/communication can be reduced to the presence/absence/distance/etc of objects is very, very, very important to me.

Inspiration to Start Writing: One of my ninth-grade English teachers turned me on to poetry, though it would be another six years or so before began to seriously seek out good writing. I went through the following progression: Keats>Baudelaire>Plath. In college, I came upon Ben Lerner through a friend, and that set off an entirely new poetry engine in my mind involving humor, absurdity, etc. I'm glad to have that living in me.

Why do you Write? I write to give glory to God. After that, to point out paradox, to explore impossibility.

Who Inspires You? Lately, Kierkegaard and Vallejo, especially "Trilce"

Trip: Well, depending on the length, I'd love to go back to Germany and see the wonders there: monastery libraries, alpine culture, etc. Also Berlin! Also Nepal!

Favorite Place on Earth: Tough one. Many contenders. I would have to say areas of the northern California coast--stiff breeze, redwoods, angry surf, fantastic geology in general. I look forward to establishing more happiness there.

1 comment:

  1. Well, that's a good option. Putting up works online; something which a lot of people, especially social media mainstays, have taken to as reflex action. The next part is putting them out there for the audienceto see, because leaving them on a URL simply won't be enough. These wouldn't just be mere books in a library or store, especially when stores, in this case, multiply by the minute, and even disperse, given the amorphous nature of anything on the internet.

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