Albert Goldbarth interview excerpt

Things like question-and-answer sessions, interviews, often leave me feeling kind of dirty afterwards. As if I’ve done the self-sufficiency of the poems themselves a disservice. When I go to a poetry reading, I feel that if it’s a truly good reading, operating at peak level for both the poet and the audience, what I want to do is walk out of the room with the last words of the last poem ringing in my ears. I want to go home and feel my life is somehow transformed because of those words. Instead, inevitably, there’s a question-and-answer session that reminds me of ‘The Oprah Winfrey Show’ more than anything, and those are the confused, weak, uninteresting, ego-filled words that are ringing in my ears. I know those things can occur on a level better than what I’ve just described, but most often they don’t; and most often I’m sorry that all those other gratuitous modes of po-biz expression exist. I don’t care to contribute to them.

- Albert Goldbarth, from an interview in Another Chigago Magazine #24, 1992.

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