Poet Nate Marshall spoke to Scott Simon at NPR about his new collection, Finna, and the ways the form has informed his perspective on the world. “I’ll tell you the point at which I knew I was a poet,” Marshall says. “I was 16, it was maybe a few weeks after my grandmother had passed, I was taking the bus home from high school and I’m getting off the bus. And these four guys jumped me, right? They were on the bus. They came off the bus behind me. One of them grabbed me and like, they sort of ganged up on me or whatever. Right. This all probably happens in, like, less than a minute. I’m fine, but I’m shook up and, you know, a little battered. Once they sort of ran away and I realized I would be OK. The first thing that I thought was, man, this is going to make a good poem…So I guess like if that says anything about how poetry shapes the way I see the world is, I think I’m always thinking about how does the lived life translate onto the page.”
“Aspiring journalists tend to worship at the altar of Joan Didion,” writes Heather Havrilesky (who some of you may know as Polly) in the latest issue of Bookforum. The fact that so many writers look up to Didion as an example necessitates that the lit world find at least one offbeat alternative. In Havrilesky’s eyes, that alternative is obvious: the late Nora Ephron was the anti-Didion, she argues.