Kathy Fagan is the author of Sycamore, as well as four previous collections, including The Charm, the National Poetry Series-winning The Raft, and Vassar Miller Prize-winner MOVING & ST RAGE. Her poems have been widely anthologized and featured in literary magazines such as The Paris Review, Kenyon Review, FIELD, and Poetry. She has received a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, an Ingram Merrill Foundation Fellowship, and served as The Frost Place poet in residence. After graduating with an MFA in Poetry from Columbia University, she earned her PhD in English at the University of Utah. She now works as Professor of English, Director of Creative Writing, and Director of the MFA program at Ohio State University, in addition to serving as Poetry Editor of OSU Press and Advisor to The Journal.
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Books by Kathy Fagan
Author Q & A
How has your writing or writing process changed since you started out?
I’m much less precious about writing now than I was when I was young. I write or I don’t write. But I haven’t got the rituals and angst I had about writing when I was a younger writer. On the other hand, I do sense a greater urgency about the work: time’s winged chariot and all. I also cast a wider net in terms of influences: lots of different kinds of writing enter my poems, but other arts, experiences, and stimuli as well. Online access to research materials helps a lot; social media, not so much (insert emoji here). [Read more at Kenyon Review]
Which non-writing-related aspect of your life most influences your writing?
Right now, there are three. I’ve been fortunate to be able to travel with my husband, who is sometimes invited to work out of the country. When we go, I’m on my own to walk, explore, and read and write all day, which is an extraordinary opportunity. We’re also caring for my elderly dad, who lives with us, and navigating health care and services for low-income seniors has become my part-time job. I think I’m also, thanks to psychotherapy, even more conscious of, well, everything—inside and out—so the poems are influenced by that heightened receptivity. [Read more at Kenyon Review]