This is one in a series of tantalizingly brief interviews with participants in the Commonwealth Reading Series.
Rebecca Kaiser Gibson reads at Porter Square Books in Cambridge, Tuesday, February 10, 2009, 7 PM.
A highly accomplished poet, Rebecca comes strenuously trained to capture big ideas in brief, carefully chosen words!
MCC: What are you working on these days?
Rebecca: Well I had convinced myself this summer that I’d do a series on mushrooms since they seemed to be inhabiting my every downward glance.
I thought I could circumvent my own brain by being orderly, and I got all set up with mushroom identification books and a wild book I found in two libraries that talked about the shamanic source of the bible, based on a hidden mushroom cult. That freaked me out for a few months, since I had also convinced myself, quite without reason, that I’d be the very first to do this. In August, when I was on a bike ride in Provincetown, all alone, I thought, at dusk, a jolly looking man came out of the scrub pine woods with a basket. “Mushrooms?” I asked, monosyllabically. He nodded. “Russian?” I asked, surprising myself.
“Of course,” he said.
Since then, I realize that what I’m working on is a long piece having to do with what is known beneath language, through it. The mushrooms are just a hint to me about what is lurking.
MCC: How many revisions does your work typically go through?
Rebecca: Many many. And often, after a few years, I go back to much of the first draft. Too often my revisions are intellectual ones, responding to some inside pretender who wants me to be someone else.
Rebecca joins Michael Downing, Rachel Kadish, and Joan Wickersham for a reading at Porter Square Books in Cambridge, Tuesday, February 10, 2009, 7 PM. Event co-sponsored by AGNI Magazine. Read about all of the events in the Commonwealth Reading Series.
Rebecca Kaiser Gibson has had work published in AGNI, Field, The Harvard Review, The Boston Phoenix, Mothering, The Antigonish Review, Northwest Review and Verse Daily, MARGIE, The Greensboro Review, Slate, The Fossil, and forthcoming in The Antigonish Review and an anthology called Cadence of Hooves. She has written reviews for The Boston Review of Books and Pleiades. She has published two chapbooks of poetry through Roundy Wells Press, Admit the Peacock and Inside the Exhibition. She has been awarded residencies from the MacDowell Colony and The Heinrich Bll Cottage in Achill Island, Ireland. She teaches poetry and writing at Tufts University.
What is a ‘nano’ interview?
Rebecca Kaiser Gibson says
“Nano” is a prefix to describe “one billionth” of something. As though there was that much more to be said, and these interviews are tiny specks of the enormities that might be mentioned, if space were made.