Posted by: Through the Eyes of Women | April 13, 2015

April 13, 2015 Host Corinne Frugoni Interviews Poet Kay Ryan


Born in California in 1945 and acknowledged as one of the most original voices in the contemporary landscape, Kay Ryan is the author of several books of poetry, including Flamingo Watching (2006), The Niagara River (2005), and Say Uncle (2000). She has received most of the awards American Poetry has to give. Her book The Best of It: New and Selected Poems (2010) won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry.

For years, Kay had been considered a kind of outsider to the literary world and for years Kay felt compelled to write poetry.  Her commitment, creativity and talent were recognized in 2008 when the Library of Congress appointed her U.S. Poet Laureate. She held the position for two terms, using the appointment to champion community colleges like the one in Marin County, California where she taught for over thirty years.  Since 2006 she has served as a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets. More recently she received a MacArthur Fellowship Grant and the  Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize among many others.

Ryan examines enormous subjects—existence, consciousness, love, loss—in compact poems that have immensely powerful resonance.  She regards the ‘rehabilitation of clichés’ as part of the poet’s mission. Her unique rhyme schemes and style have earned her the status of one of the great living American poets with her feet on the ground and with a gentle self-deprecating sensibility.

Here is one of the poems she shared during this interview:


From other

angles the 

fibers look

fragile, but 

not from the 

spider’s, always

hauling coarse

ropes, hitching

lines to the

best posts

possible.  It’s 

heavy work


fighting sag,

winching up

give.  It

isn’t ever


to live.

Watch for a new book of Kay Ryan’s poetry Erratic Facts published by Grove Press due to be out at the end of this year.

To view a video of Kay Ryan, click the following:  Kay Ryan named 2011 #MacFellow, @Macfound Fellow via @sharethis

To listen to and/or download this segment click the following link:  4-13-2015 Corinne_Kay Ryan


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