Poets don’t expect to make a living practicing the craft. And as most scribblers know, writing from home can lead to all kinds of mess. At least on and around the desk. For those of us who like playing house (decorating, redecorating, rearranging, praise from guests) what a boon, then to have to keep it tidy and earn along the way. Ergo Airbnb. Since the DNC landed in Philly last July, when hotel rooms were scarce, I’ve enjoyed the perks of income, a better-kept home, and great guests from all over the map.
The payoff: more time to write than the adjunct posts or other jobs I’ve tried for with fair-to-middling success.
I’d like to share some of my hosting adventures in coming blogs, maintaining, of course, the privacy of truly fascinating guests.
Every story has a backstory. This interview, the only one I can ever recall that took place entirely by email and over more months that I care to relate, would never have happened without the intervention of Marianne Boruch, another poet role model for the ages. Boruch, my first semester mentor at Warren Wilson, provided the introduction, via email for me with Perillo, who said something to the effect of “why?” Perillo had been nominated for a National Book Critics Circle Award for On the Spectrum of Possible Deaths, and perhaps had done too many interviews. However, after a few emails back and forth, she agreed to be interviewed by email if the questions were sent ahead. She was marvelously prompt in her responses. She answered every question save perhaps three. Alas, our editor had a backlog of other work to accomplish and there were many postponements to the publication of this interview. It seems only fitting that I am only now getting around to posting this interview on my own website. But for anyone who didn’t see it, Perillo is not a poet to be missed.
I saw a pomegranate bleeding melodies
Osvaldo Golijov, on his opera about the death of Lorca