Poetry Favorites: Jason Dean Arnold

Who is your favorite living poet?

There are so many great poets working right now, it may be hard to narrow to one. But, I can include a very diverse cast that includes Dorothea Lasky, Franz Wright, Ed Skoog, Joshua Marie Wilkinson, Marie Howe, Zachary Schomburg, Sharon Olds, Bianca Stone, Emily Kendall Frey, W.S. Merwin, Matthew Zapruder, Michael Dickman, Matthew Dickman, Mary Ruefle, Steve Dalachinsky, Matthew Henriksen, Clark Lunberry, Eileen Myles, Heather Christle, Richard Siken, Lucy Brock-Broido, Joshua Beckman, Major Jackson, and on and on…

Who is your favorite dead poet?
This also may be a long list of names that at least starts with the most recent passing of Seamus Heaney and Galway Kinnell. The diverse list would include more recent poets lost, such as Craig Arnold, Adrienne Rich, Amira Baraka, Ruth Stone, Jon Anderson…among many others. The past names that always remain include Paul Celan, Sylvia Plath, Frank Stafford, James Dickey, William Shakespeare, Hart Crane, Cummings, William Stafford, CK Williams, Sexton, Trakl, Goethe, Milton, etc…and on and on…
What is favorite poem of all time?
For a long time, anything by Cummings (1920 Dial Poems) would have been cited…but, I have to admit, this changes almost daily now. Although I never tire of certain poems, my favorite poem on this day (March 24, 2015) is Lasky’s “Georg Trakl in the Green Sun.”
Current book of poetry you can’t get out of your mind?
I am currently reading several books at one time, including The Volta Book of Poets, Cate Marvin’s Oracle, Heather Christle’s Helioscope, Emily Skillings’ Backchannel, and many others. But, these books haunt me now- Breathturn into Timestead (Pierre Joris’ most recent translation of later Paul Celan), Dorothea Lasky’s Thunderbird (with me for a couple of years now…even though she has released Rome since), Matt Rasmussen’s Black Aperture, Ed Skoog’s Rough Day, and the most recent Georg Trakl translation on Copper Canyon, Song of the Departed. I am also carrying a torch for Henri Lefebrve’s The Missing Pieces.
Best live, or audio, poetry reading you can remember.
I absolutely love really dynamic poetry readings. That being said, these are few and far between. However, for the fact that these are widely available still, the best are usually within the following podcasts: Tin House Podcast, Phoned-In (unique but older, no longer updated), and Poetry Magazine’s monthly updated podcast. Honorable mention- Scottish Library Podcast…look up the Mary Ruefle and Matthew Zapruder episodes.
Jason Dean Arnold lives with his wife, Anna, and has two daughters, Kendyl and Kaylla. His poetry and other artistic work can be found at- http://temporarytranslation.com/

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