Interview with Andrea Hollander in the Arkansas Times

"On memoir, living in Arkansas and more."

September 21, 2018

Below is a brief excerpt of Jackson Meazle’s interview with Andrea Hollander about her new book, Blue Mistaken for Sky! Read the full piece here

One inventive poem early on in the sequence is “As If Written by the Other Woman.” I like the “as if” in the title. It invokes you attempting to see your own grief from the other side of adultery, seeing pain from the “near” opposite perspective. It’s kind of an early revelation for the whole book, or at least it was for me. Could you talk about this poem’s place in the sequence?

Galway Kinnell has said that for him, “poetry is somebody standing up and saying with as little concealment as possible what it is for him or her to be on earth at this moment.” For me, the most important part of his statement is “with as little concealment as possible.” I wrote “As If Written by the Other Woman” in order to put myself in the place of one of the other women in my ex’s life, to try to empathize with her. What surprised me when I drafted the poem was how much compassion that other voice has, not for the husband, but for the wife.

As the book opens, the betrayals have already occurred and the marriage has ended. What follows the opening poem, which makes these two facts clear, is an attempt to answer what I assume might be some of a reader’s questions, so I placed poems as if each were an answer, one following the emotional logic of the next.

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