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Born in November 27, 1942 / United States / English

Quotes by Marilyn Hacker

The woman poet must be either a sexless, reclusive eccentric, with nothing to say specifically to women, or a brilliant, tragic, tortured suicide.
Poetry seems to have been eliminated as a literary genre, and installed instead, as a kind of spiritual aerobic exercise - nobody need read it, but anybody can do it.
It is interesting to be working with poets whose work is so different from my own, and who are very different from each other.
I don't think it's by accident that I was first attracted to translating two French women poets.
From here you can still walk almost everywhere. In a reasonable amount of time you can be at the canal, in Belleville or Menilmontant, at Pere Lachaise, across the river in the 5th, or 6th. In 15 minutes on foot you're entirely elsewhere.
I think it's curious that there are Americans who I never see in the states because we're a million miles away from each other, like Carolyn Kizer and Sandra Gilbert, but I see them here, because when we're here we're neighbors.
We sometimes received - and I would read - 200 manuscripts a week. Some of them were wonderful, some were terrible; most were mediocre. It was like the gifts of the good and bad fairies.
I've been an inveterate reader of literary magazines since I was a teenager. There are always discoveries. You're sitting in your easy chair, reading; you realize you've read a story or a group of poems four times, and you know, Yes, I want to go farther with this writer.
It's one thing to have street names of something that's taking place on the corner of rue St Anne and the rue de Turenne, but another to have something French at random. The worst is when you know there's a word and you can't think of the name.
I have experienced healing through other writers' poetry, but there's no way I can sit down to write in the hope a poem will have healing potential. If I do, I'll write a bad poem.
Writers are dealing with essential issues, some are themselves HIV-positive or writing with cancer or AIDS, or as health-care givers, legal advisors, teachers, outreach workers, witnesses - I think that's a necessary integration of literary writing with what's actually going on in our world.
Of the individual poems, some are more lyric and some are more descriptive or narrative. Each poem is fixed in a moment. All those moments written or read together take on the movement and architecture of a narrative.
In this neighborhood things have been changing fast, too fast. I can remember when the endless clothing boutiques in the rue des Francs-Bourgeois were grocery shops, bakeries, newsagents.
There is a way in which all writing is connected. In a second language, for example, a workshop can liberate the students' use of the vocabulary they're acquiring.
Everyone thinks they're going to write one book of poems or one novel.
Mavis Gallant, another brilliant Canadian, is completely bilingual in her life and reading, has lived here for 52 years and always writes in English, even conducting interviews with the French press in English.
I haven't been working yet with poets who are doing strictly rhymed and metered forms, of which there aren't many contemporaries, though there are some, and not negligible ones. I admire Jacques Roubaud's sonnets and Jacques Reda's rhymed and metered urban landscape poems.
There is a certain openness in American and British poetry circles that manifests itself, for example, in magazine editors' willingness to read unsolicited manuscripts by writers whose names they've never seen before.
Translation is an interestingly different way to be involved both with poetry and with the language that I've found myself living in much of the time. I think the two feed each other.
When I edited Thirteenth Moon, a feminist literary magazine, I basically supported it myself with an essential grant here and there.
As a teacher you are more or less obliged to pay the same amount of attention to everything. That can wear you down.
For me, editing can be frustrating, but invigorating - something I love to do. Until I was editor of The Kenyon Review, it was mostly something I did without pay, a habit I had to feed by doing other work.
I worked at all kinds of jobs, mostly commercial editing.
The ambiguities of language, both in terms of vocabulary and syntax, are fascinating: how important connotation is, what is lost and what is gained in the linguistic transition.
I've been in Paris as much as I could be, which includes living here for longer stretches of time, then eventually just living here tout court.