April 15, 2011 In an interview in the Southern Literary Review, Vanderbilt poet Kate Daniels explains her seemingly unlikely kinship with another great poet associated with the Vanderbilt English Department:
Robert Penn Warren would be the Southern poet who had the most influence on me – the lack of compression, the grandiosity of syntax, the very quirky speaking voice in his poems were all things that I found very appealing aesthetically and very encouraging personally. I always had a hard time with (some other poets) because of how highly formal, how self conscious, the poems seemed to me. They intimidated me in a way, but also made me anxious: so boxed-in, so careful, so neat and tidy. Just the way that Warren’s poems, particularly the later poems, sprawled all over the page was really inspiring to me. There was a way to break out of jail! And because his poems sounded so different from everyone else’s, they became important to me – as a young southern woman of working class origins – as a model for an independent literary life.
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