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Giving a voice to Eva Braun in The Fuehrer Bunker


Beginning to work on The Fuehrer Bunker
WD Snodgrass Poet
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All along in there, there were things like books of translations and song translations in particular. When I got here to Syracuse, then it… then it was that I started doing the poems a… about the Nazi hierarchy, the… The Fuehrer Bunker, and I started working on those while I was here, and fou… I… I was reading all about World War II and… and about the… particularly the war in Europe, although I had been in the Pacific, and… but I think the first poem of that sort that I did was a poem about Albert Speer and I showed it to George El… George P Elliott and… and his wife and one or two other friends here, and they… they seemed to be very impressed by that, so I thought okay. The reason that… part of the reason that my first book was a success was that I had found a subject that nobody else was talking about, lose… losing your own child in a divorce or you know, things that happen to you personally. I thought okay, here is a big social subject that nobody is… well, everybody was writing books about it, there were more books about the… the leaders of World War II, including… including the big Nazis. There were more books about that than anything at all, except diet and cooking. So there was all kinds of prose about this, but nobody was writing poems about it.

American poet WD Snodgrass, entered the world of poetry with a bang winning several awards, including the Pulitzer Prize, for his first collection of poetry, Heart's Needle. A backlash followed his controversial fifth anthology “The Fuehrer Bunker”, but in recent years these poems have been reassessed and their importance recognised.

Listeners: William B. Patrick

William B. Patrick is a writer and poet who lives in Troy, New York. Among his work are the poetry volumes "We Didn't Come Here for This" and "These Upraised Hands", the novel "Roxa: Voices of the Culver Family" and the plays "Rescue" and "Rachel's Dinner". His most recent work is the non-fiction book "Saving Troy", based on the year he spent following the Troy Fire Department.

Mr. Patrick has been Writer-in-Residence at the New York State Writers Institute and has taught at Old Dominion University, Onondaga Community College, and Salem State College, and workshops in Screenwriting and Playwriting at the Blue Ridge Writers Conference in Roanoke, Virginia. He has received grants from the Academy of American Poets, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Massachusetts Artists Foundation, and the Virginia Commission for the Arts.

Tags: Syracuse University, Syracuse, World War II, Europe, Pacific Ocean, Nazis, Albert Speer, George P Elliott

Duration: 1 minute, 47 seconds

Date story recorded: August 2004

Date story went live: 24 January 2008