booby-trapped with twists and surprises

Jason Rotstein: How would you describe your work? How would you describe one of your poems? What do you think distinguishes you as a poet?

Jason Guriel: I hope that what distinguishes me is that people think my poems are entertaining. To that end, I try to get down to the business of entertaining the reader as quickly as possible, with an eye on the exit. I certainly don’t want to overstay my welcome. I do want my poems to have a relatively linear argument that a smart reader can follow, though I want the argument to be booby-trapped with twists and surprises. (You can’t mess with the reader if you don’t establish some expectations to mess with.) I’m always after original images, metaphors, and similes that shock but still make sense. And I want some unity of sound and for my line-breaks to be meaningful if not playful. In short, I want the reader to feel like she’s in good hands. These are the goals, anyway. And none of this is to say that I want an overly accessible or ‘simplistic’ poetry.

- Two Jasons talking about one Jason's poetry, in Maisonneuve. Read the whole interview here.

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