Monday, March 09, 2015

Between the Lines: Poetry Connections

by Zinta Aistars
for WMUK 102.1 FM

Between the Lines is my weekly radio show about books and writers with a Michigan connection. It airs every Tuesday at 7:50 a.m., 11:55 a.m., and 4:20 p.m., on WMUK 102.1 FM, Southwest Michigan's NPR affiliate. I am the host of Between the Lines.

This week's guest: Kathleen McGookey.

Kathi McGookey

To Kathleen McGookey, poetry is “a way to pay attention. Very close attention. To the smallest detail, the smallest moment.”
Primarily a writer of prose poetry (poetry without line breaks), McGookey has been writing poems since her days in a study abroad program in Paris, France, as a college student. An ocean away from her home and native culture, McGookey felt keenly connected to her own language while immersed in learning French.
“Even though I was pretty fluent in French, I couldn’t say everything I wanted to say,” says McGookey. “I found myself, while writing in my journal in English, really loving that ability to be articulate and expressing myself fully. I remember the experience of standing in a bookstore—I think it was Shakespeare & Co.—and reading a book in English and feeling so connected to the writer.”
That joy in connection has been McGookey’s driving motivation ever since. Her fondest moments now are readers contacting her or coming up to her after a reading to let her know that they have also felt that special connection while reading her poetry.
McGookey’s newest published work is a chapbook called Mended, published by Kattywompus Press (2014). Other publications include Whatever ShinesOctober Again; and At the Zoo. McGookey has also translated French poet Georges Godeau’s book We’ll See.

In Mended, McGookey says she worked through the grief and sorrow she experienced after ...

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