Poet Rachel Hadas returns to the show to talk about her new books, Talking To The Dead, and Questions in the Vestibule. It’s been two years since we talked, so I had loads of questions for her. How did she rediscover love after losing her husband to early onset dementia? Why is translation like Sudoku for her? How did she wind up pals with James Merrill (and what’s her take on his Ouija poems)? What do we lose and gain in the act of translation? And how did she become a love poet after spending her career writing elegies? Listen in to find out!
Photo by Shalom Gorewitz
Extra material from the show: Backdrop: Merrill in Stonington, a video essay Rachel made with her husband, Shalom Gorewitz. The Art of Empathy: Celebrating Literature in Translation, a collection of essays commissioned by the National Endowment for the Arts.
Here’s a list of the books we talked about during the episode:
- Talking To The Dead – Rachel Hadas
- Questions in the Vestibule – Rachel Hadas
- Strange Relation: A Memoir of Marriage, Dementia, and Poetry – Rachel Hadas
- The Golden Road: Poems – Rachel Hadas
- James Merrill: Life and Art – Langdon Hammer
- The Art of the Personal Essay: An Anthology from the Classical Era to the Present – Phillip Lopate (ed.)
- Slow Reading in a Hurried Age – David Mikics
- Bellow’s People: How Saul Bellow Made Life Into Art – David Mikics
- The Changing Light at Sandover – James Merrill
- The Leopard – Giuseppe Di Lampedusa
- Till I End My Song: A Gathering of Last Poems – Harold Bloom (ed.)
Check back at the end of the month for the next Fear of a Square Planet bonus podcast and hear Rachel’s answer to the question, “So, who are you reading?”