Monday, August 27, 2007

Like a Radio in the Dark

Happy to find this bit of proof that the interview I did with George Bowering in Jacket 33 is actually getting read and appreciated a little, since I consciously set out to do the unexpected in that piece. Blogger Marcus McCann (a stranger in these parts) calls it "a fascinating interview from a content perspective" and indeed I doubt anyone else has made Bowering expound on what he likes about Americans. We also get into his Puritanism, his relationships with his schoolmaster father and the British crown, and interesting things he thought as a kid -- that he might have superpowers, for instance, or be the second coming or live forever.

If you've tangled with him on the Poetics list, as so many have, you know he's a rare bird (some might say a piece of work) and my hope was to show how he got that way, how he earned his feathers and why I believe he's worth every bit of his occasional curmudgeonliness.

So the Paris Review interview it ain't, and pointedly so. At one juncture the interviewee says "I feel as if I am 'in group,' which I managed to avoid during the Fritz Perls era." Well, it was fun to bring him there and to hint at least at what people are missing if they don't read him.

Not mentioned in the Jacket piece but amusing in itself is news of the scholarship recently established for a student graduating from Bowering's old high school in Oliver, British Columbia, who "must have a demonstrated interest in writing and be a bit of a pain in the ass."

This, I'm fairly certain, opens up all sorts of new vistas for awards. Vistas I've been thinking about, as it happens, but those are musings for another day.

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