Elise Paschen is the author of "Bestiary" (Red Hen Press, 2009), "Infidelities," winner of the Nicholas Roerich Poetry Prize, and "Houses: Coasts." Her poems have been published in numerous anthologies and magazines, including "The New Republic," "The Hudson Review," and "Ploughshares." Former Executive Director of the Poetry Society of America, she is the editor of "Poetry Speaks Who I Am," as well as "The New York Times" best-selling anthology "Poetry Speaks to Children" and co-editor of "Poetry Speaks," "Poetry Speaks Expanded," "Poetry in Motion," and "Poetry in Motion from Coast to Coast." She teaches in the Writing Program at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Please visit: ElisePaschen.com
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What books are you currently reading?
Just finished reading "The Third Angel" by Alice Hoffman and Dan Brown's "Angels and Demons" Recently read "Admission" by Jean Hanff Korelitz I currently am reading A.S. Byatt's, "The Children's Book" I also am reading "Poetry in Person: Twenty-Five Years of Conversations with America's Poets [and Pearl London]" and "Stupid Hope" by Jason Shinder About to read: Edward Hirsch's "The Living Fire: New and Selected Poems" and Grace Schulman's "First Loves and Other Adventures" and "The Anthologist" by Nicholson Baker
What are your favorite books?
Elizabeth Bishop's "Geography III" "The Collected Poems of William Butler Yeats" Pablo Neruda, "Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair" Alice Munro's short stories Gabriel Garcia Marquez, "Love in the Time of Cholera" A.S Byatt, "Possession" James Joyce's "Ulysses"
What books would you recommend to your readers?
I would recommend that those who read "Poetry Speaks Who I Am" continue to explore the world of poetry and find books by their favorite poets in the anthology. They might discover a poem by Emily Dickinson or else an ode by Joy Harjo -- but, I am sure, something in the anthology will inspire them to keep reading poetry.
Any message to your readers?
I believe a poem can change your life, and the poems in "Poetry Speaks Who I Am" speak to so many different aspects of growing up that at least one of the poems will shake your world just a little bit.
What is your book about? Please provide a description.
From the back cover copy: "Poetry Speaks Who I Am" is an energetic, visceral collection of poems for that point in life that is at the same time angst-ridden and incredibly exciting. Filled with more than 100 remarkable selections from a wide variety of contemporary and classic poets, this journey of discovery at last brings the vital connection between poetry and the early teen years to full fruition.
How long have you been at work on this book?
We have been working on editing the anthology for several years.
How did the idea originate?
We have been working on "Poetry Speaks" since the late 1990s -- Dominique Raccah originated the idea for the series at Sourcebooks.
Did the book entail any unusual writing habits or places?
In compiling the anthology, we searched through pages and pages of poems by living writers and from poets throughout the ages.