Who is your favorite living poet?
Who is your favorite dead poet?
What is your favorite poem of all time?
“My Father in the Night Commanding No” by Louis Simpson. It’s brilliant. I memorized it when I was eleven.
Current book of poetry you can’t get out of your mind?
Best live, or audio, poetry reading you can remember.
Some of my favorite memories revolve around unexpected poetry readings. A few years ago, I went to what I thought was going to be a reading by Li-Young Lee at DG Wills Bookstore in San Diego, hosted by Ilya Kaminsky. Li Young Lee didn’t show up, so Ilya asked Jericho Brown, who had just had his first book come out, I think that month, and me to read instead. Listening to Jericho read from “Please” I was so enchanted, I just thought: I am watching a real poetry superstar at the start of his career. (Did I mention San Diego is an unexpectedly great place for poetry readings?)
Jeannine Hall Gailey recently served as the second Poet Laureate of Redmond, Washington. She is the author of four books of poetry: Becoming the Villainess, She Returns to the Floating World, Unexplained Fevers, and The Robot Scientist’s Daughter, new in 2015 from Mayapple Press. Her work has been featured on NPR’s The Writer’s Almanac, Verse Daily, and in The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror. Her poems have appeared in The American Poetry Review, The Iowa Review and Prairie Schooner. Her web site is www.webbish6.com. Twitter handle: @webbish6.