Academy of American Poets
View Cart | Log In 
Subscribe | More Info 
Find a Poet or Poem
Advanced Search >
Want more poems?
Subscribe to our
Poem-A-Day emails.
Poems by Ben Mirov
Automatic Teller Machine
Black Glass Soliloquy
Related Prose
6 Poets, 6 Questions: Mark Bibbins in Conversation
by Mark Bibbins
6 Poets, 6 Questions: Mary Jo Bang in Conversation
by Mary Jo Bang
6 Poets, 6 Questions: Randall Mann in Conversation
by Randall Mann
6 Poets, 6 Questions: Timothy Donnelly in Conversation
by Timothy Donnelly
6 Poets, 6 Questions: Brenda Shaughnessy in Conversation
by Brenda Shaughnessy
Related Pages
Poets Forum
Sponsor a Poet Page | Add to Notebook | Email to Friend | Print

6 Poets, 6 Questions: Ben Mirov in Conversation

by Ben Mirov

Timothy Donnelly, Randall Mann, and Ben Mirov presented a panel titled "Poetry in the Age of Social Media" at the sixth annual Poets Forum in New York City, October 18-20, 2012. How do you know when you've finished writing a poem?

Ben Mirov: I usually get a vertiginous feeling followed by nausea. What word are you proud of sneaking into a poem? What word would you never put in a poem?

Mirov: I once used the word "exsanguinate" in a poem. That felt pretty good.

I can't think of a word I'd never put in a poem. Poetry has contexts and mutations for even the clunkiest of words. If I were to think of a word I'd never put in a poem, poetry would prove me wrong.

That being said, I kind of hate the word "heart." What do you see as the role of the poet in today's culture?

Mirov: The role of the poet in today's culture is the same as it's always been: to be a huge transparent eyeball. Which poet's work do you continually go back to?

Mirov: I don't have an appropriate answer for this question. I've always been inspired by deep-sea organisms. Their anatomy and diversity is poetic. I love the proliferation of forms that can be found in the deep ocean.

Poets are great too. Are you on Facebook, Twitter, or Tumblr? How does that fit into your writing life, if at all??

Mirov: I use Facebook and Twitter. I use them to share my work and other things. They exist outside of my writing life as mechanisms of self-destruction, reflection, and promotion.

I like to think my "writing life" resists their ephemerality. I'm sure it does. Poetry is an impenetrable black orb I carry inside me. Twitter and Facebook exist in the world outside the orb, and ceaselessly try to quantify and measure it. But the orb exists in a kind of non-physical plane, beyond my own attempts to understand it, using my hands and brain to write things down. What are you reading right now?

Mirov: I just started reading Shadow and Claw, by Gene Wolfe. It's the first book of a sci-fi tetralogy called Book of the New Sun. I'm also reading Works on Paper by Eliot Weinberger. It's the last of his essay collections I haven't read, so I'm savoring it.

Copyright 2012 by the Academy of American Poets and Ben Mirov.
Larger TypeLarger Type | Home | Help | Contact Us | Privacy Policy Copyright © 1997 - 2014 by Academy of American Poets.