Sidney Wade on The Social Distance Reading Series
Sidney Wade, Professor Emerita, taught poetry and translation in the MFA@FLA Creative Writing program at the University of Florida for 21 years. She was a long-time editor of the literary journal Subtropics. She has published 8 volumes of poetry and 1 translation, with Efe Murad: Selected Poems of Melih Cevdet Anday won the Meral Divitci Prize and was published by Talisman Press in 2017.
In the wake of book event cancellations due to COVID-19, this pop-up series is designed to offer poets a platform for launching new collections of poems. Stay tuned for a new reading each Wednesday and Sunday.
“Reading Deep Gossip, one realizes Sidney Wade, inquisitive, witty, at times dazzlingly rapturous, has long paid attention to every warren and den, to persevering landscapes, to ecological wonders, to nature’s creaturely inhabitants, most especially to shifting, if not frustrating, political realities. Always scrupulous with her language, she privileges the rich province of the lyric with sonic verve, practicing a freedom and discipline attenuated and faithful to intimacies of thought.”
“Deep Gossip begins with Sidney Wade’s newest work, spare, elegant poems in which every line is laden with meaning and music. Her microscopic eye peers into the natural world of bees, pollen, moths, and birds, birds, birds. This is a book suffused with light-dappled, blazing, luminosity and its shadow. She seems to be saying that we must look closely at the earth, and she is a transcendent guide to all we could lose.”
How do you begin a new piece of writing? What conditions help your writing process?
With an interesting image, or, more frequently, a thrilling phrase, like “Human food consists entirely of souls.” Sometimes a strange new word will get me going. Like “geep.” Also, the beauty of birds is a constant inspiration.
What was an early experience that taught you language has power?
My dad was a remarkable man, who had hundreds of poems in his head. He would often recite poems to me when I was young.
What poets or writers do you continually go back to?
Sylvia Plath. Richard Wilbur. Ann Carson. Wallace Stevens. Robert Frost. Alicia Stallings. Les Murray.
What is your favorite childhood or adolescent book?
“My Book House: In the Nursery,” Edited by Olive Beaupre Miller. As a small child I read and reread the old-fashioned poems and stories and savored the beautiful illustrations. “South Moon Under,” by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings (adolescent).
What are your thoughts/experiences on social distancing?
It’s essential, if we’re to have any chance of slowing this monster down. Poets and birders are natural social distancers in the first place, so it’s been easy for me. So far.
Where can we find you? Link to your blog or website:
The Social Distance Reading Series
Brought to you by The Vermont School and Green Mountains Review
We’re thrilled to host The Social Distance Reading Series, a collaboration between Green Mountains Review and The Vermont School poets. In the wake of book event cancellations due to COVID-19, this pop-up series is designed to offer poets a platform for launching new collections of poems. At this point, we are focusing on collections by poets whose book events have been cancelled between January through May 2020.
Stay tuned for a new reading each Wednesday and Sunday.
–Didi Jackson, Major Jackson, Kerrin McCadden, and Elizabeth Powell, series curators.
–Kylie Gellatly, editorial assistant, interviewer.