This is an interview that I did with the poet Denise Duhamel my Freshman year of college.
Who are your grandpoets?
Sharon Olds, Albert Goldbarth, Kathleen Spivack
What poets would you say have raised you, which ones have you inherited, and who are your poet siblings?
Sharon Olds raised me since I was just a kitten. I think I may have inherited a smidgin of Walt Whitman and Frank O'Hara for some reason. And my poet siblings are Dorianne Laux, Kim Addohizio, Tim Seibles, and my fraternal twin Maureen Seaton.
Where did you study?
Emerson College, Boston, BFA. Sarah Lawrence, MFA.
What drives you more: reading or teaching?
Reading! Teaching is exhausting for me.
If you were a fruit, what sort of fruit would you be?
Any sort of melon - those are the fruits that seem to be the most in touch with their clitorises.
Do you have a lucky penny?
Yes, I actually have a plastic bag full of money that I found on streets of New York: there are even a few dollar bills in there, and dimes.
If you could find anything in a shoebox, what would you find in it?
A little tiny magical device that would, when I popped it open, melt all the guns and gunpowder and bombs all over the world into puddles of Jello chocolate pudding.
If you could buy any sort of map, what sort of map would you buy? (For example, I would buy a map of swingsets).
I would love also love a map of swingsets! Or a map of novelty stores. I really like fake moustaches, crepe paper streamers, and cardboard cut outs of pilgrims and shamrocks.
If you could find a postcard of any place from your childhood (water fountains, gardens, under your bed, etc.) what postcard would you find?
I would find a postcard of my grandmother's cool, watery, upper arms.
Who would you send it to?
I'd send it to all of the children I know.
If books were edible and seasoned with their contents, which books would you most like to eat?
I'd like to eat Sharon Old's The Gold Cell, Nin Andrew's The Book of Orgasms, and Ai's Cruelty.
If you could eat your poems, what would they taste like?
They'd have a nutty oat taste sweetened with honey.
Of all of the Halloween costumes that you've worn, what was your favorite?
I was Carrie one year, complete with prom dress drenched in pig's blood (Karo corn syrup and food coloring). My friend dressed up as the slaughtered pig.
Of all of the people that you know, who, when combined and simmered over a low fire would make a truly tasty pot of "stone soup"?
Rosie O'Donnell would be the main stock with chunks of Drew Barrymore and julienned Roseanne and grated Sandra Bernhard.
If you were Queen and could only make three laws, what would they be?
1. No one could ever say anything mean about anyone's appearance, especially if the victim is going through puberty.
2. All foods would have an equal number of calories and nutritional value per serving. For example, spinach and chocolate would be equally good for you.
3. All children would be taught how to fly.
If you were President of the United States, what holidays would we celebrate?
Walt Whitman's birthday, the date Sharon Olds had her first poem published, a long weekend during National Poetry Month during which people would have picnics and read poetry.
If you could keep a couple of poems in your coat pockets to give to strangers on the street, which poems would you choose?
Sharon Old's "The Race", Ai's "Child Beater", Suzanne Lummis' "Letter to my Assailant", and Jayne Cortz's "Rape".
Do you have a favorite restaurant?
Yes, Fish and Chips in Woonsocket, RI.
If waiters and waitresses didn't get tipped in cash, what sort of tip would you leave for them?
Depending on the size of the tip, bangle bracelets, toothbrushes and toothpaste, brightly colored ankle socks, fig newtons, poetry books and chapbooks.
If you could have any place be within walking distance of you, no matter where you were, what would it be?
if you could rule one thing out as "magic" and never give it a scientific explaination, what would it be?
Love and Dreams.