Chapter 16
A Community of Tennessee Writers, Readers & Passersby

A Way to Break Out of Jail

In an interview in the Southern Literary Review Kate Daniels celebrates Robert Penn Warren

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.

To read the full interview – and one of Daniel’s poems – click here. To read Chapter 16‘s interview with Kate Daniels, click here.

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