Mark Metcalf

Milwaukee Does Strange Things to People

By - Aug 26th, 2010 04:00 am
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“I always joke that I was imprinted with the lake light,” says Milwaukee native and former poet laureate Susan Firer, referring to her birth in the old St. Mary’s complex, which boasted an impressive view of Lake Michigan. She says that her formative years her have an undeniable influence on all of her work. Much of her poetry, most notably her anthology Milwaukee Does Strange Things to People, reads like an ode to the familiar geography of our fair city.

“I wanted to write about this city the way that Frank O’Hara wrote about New York,” she says.

In the final interview of the Poetry series, Susan and Mark talk about writing in the voice of Whitman (including a reading of Firer’s “Whitman’s Voice,” naturally), the Golden Age of oratory and poetry with a sense of place.

Listen now:

Subscribe to Backstage with Mark Metcalf through iTunes here.

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