Stay tuned all month for poet interviews in honor of National Poetry Month.
1) Why poetry?
Poetry is life-affirming and it is in everything.
2) Do you feel like poetry is more or less important & relevant today?
I think that poetry made lately has sharpened a bifurcation that has always existed. I think of poetry the way I think about politics: what forms do the different iterations take in serving which people? I think that poetry that was created in the spirit of healing has always been and will remain life-giving.
3) Tell us about one poet who has greatly influenced you as a writer and a thinker.
Danielle Pafunda was a teacher and mentor of mine who helped me find out everything about the world. Politics, aesthetics, intellectual curiosity, literary citizenship, struggle, theory and praxis, a most polished razor-slash of merry dismissal in the face of broetic condescension—these are the things that Danielle demonstrated as contemporaneous possibilities for a roiling, determined poetic life. Of course, Danielle’s writing is matchless for its ability to provide both precision and adornment, but as a teacher she also presented poetry as not just the act of sitting down and typing, but as living multitudes.
4) Tell us about one lesser-known contemporary poet who you’d like more people to know about.
She is already known to many, but I always want to big up my heartsister Grace Shuyi Liew. She is intimidatingly intelligent, she encircles the feelings of a thing with her emotional generosity, she is a gift, and her writing definitely reflects the ethical beauty of her person.
Links to her work can be found here: https://graceungrateful.com/poems/
5) Share with us one of your recent poems and tell us a little bit about its context.
The Wanderer was the first to publish a selection of poems from my ongoing project Biography of My Automaton. They’re speculative poems about our automated future and the possibilities of sending our cyborg representatives into the world. I don’t believe in technological singularity so much as I like to think about an alternate evolution founded from human subjectivity. How would our automatons interact with the natural world and with each other? What moral gestures of ours would they retain and recreate? And what would they discard or modify?
Ginger Ko is the author of Motherlover (Bloof Books), Inherit (Sidebrow), and Comorbid (Lark Books). Ginger is a PhD student at the University of Georgia’s creative writing program, where she teaches writing and Women’s Studies. She is a contributing editor for The Wanderer and an editor at smoking glue gun. You can find her online at www.gingerko.com