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Reading Heart's Needle (7th cycle)


Background to Heart's Needle
WD Snodgrass Poet
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You know that the cycle called Heart's Needle is about thinking I had lost my daughter in a divorce. And finally, after a lot of trouble in the courts and so forth, you know, you… you get rights of visitation, which they're always trying to cut off. And they're finding one way after another to stop them. But very often there in Iowa City, I would take my child… my child over to the park and… and there were swings and things of that sort there. Well you know, if you're any good as a parent, one thing that you learn, or that you have to do — maybe you don't learn it — is to let go. And there come times when you, you know, you… and sometimes you have to be pushing the child away from you; You keep wanting to grab it. Well, you can't. And on the swing, this is very much the thing. You're always pushing the child away from you but hoping it comes back. Ok, let's take a couple minutes while I get over having said that.

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: Iowa City

Duration: 1 minute, 14 seconds

Date story recorded: August 2004

Date story went live: 29 September 2010