Nate Marshall on Translating Life Onto the Page

August 12, 2020

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.”

is a writer and illustrator. She is the author of two illustrated books, Last Night's Reading (Penguin Books, 2015) and Sanpaku (Archaia 2018).

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