Suzanna Derewicz: Something I noticed in Shiner is how often the speaker(s) call out to history... The desire to call out to that which preceded you, where does that live in you?
Eva HD: I guess I feel like it’s doing the same to me, so I feel like I’m responding. In today’s world, it feels sometimes like everyone has the memory of a goldfish, but history and context are very clearly present in everything we experience, though some of it might be willfully passed over. I find it difficult to write anything that is disassociated from it.
SD: Like we’re tethered to it.
HD: More like it’s a palimpsest—most of it has not been erased or covered up very well and I’m constantly stumbling upon it. Your question is a very good one. And people are shouting out to history all the time, whether intentionally or otherwise. The term Puritan, for example, is something I can’t really hear without thinking about the ethnic cleansings of Ireland and North America. We contend daily with the consequences of history, which manifest themselves more obviously for some of us than for others. Try telling some kids in Attawapiskat that history doesn’t matter. I think a person would have to live in a peculiar state of privilege to imagine that they lived outside of history.
- Eva HD, discussing her second poetry collection, Shiner, with Suzanna Derewicz over at The Puritan's Town Crier blog. You can read the whole thing here.