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Showing posts from January, 2013

Reidel Interviews Rooney on Weldon Kees

Weldon Kees has been gone close to 60 years, but he continues to inspire. The Nebraska-born poet, who also wrote fiction, composed jazz, and produced experimental films, is the animating spirit behind Kathleen Rooney’s book Robinson Alone (Gold Wake Press, 2012). In her new collection, Rooney pays homage to Kees’s best-known work, the four Robinson poems that he published before disappearing in July 1955. (His car was discovered in a parking lot near the Golden Gate Bridge, his body never found.) James Reidel, author of Vanished Act: The Life and Art of Weldon Kees(University of Nebraska Press, 2003), interviewed Rooney for the Poetry Foundation. They spoke about why Kees is an invitational writer, what Nickelodeon has to do with poetry, and the aesthetic elegance of disappearance.
Robinson was considered a doppelgänger of Kees, an urban and urbane Robinson Crusoe. Why write an entire book of post-Robinson poems?
The Robinson series is one of Kees’s projects that I would have liked to …