Tony Trigilio "The Landscape Got Into Me in a Way that Was Not Flat at All"

Former CPR Editor Natalia Kennedy chatted with our current Faculty Advisor Tony Trigilio. In the full interview above, they touch on the Chicago grid system, digital publishing, stand-up comedy, Oulipo operations, and deathbed revelations. Check out a brief excerpt below.

Columbia Poetry Review: What is the poem you've always wanted to write but have not been able to?

Tony Trigilio: (Laughs) Oh, God! Well, I bet everybody interprets that differently. The poems I'm writing now, or the poems that I want to write, or the poems I'm able to write... I'm always trying to mature as a writer, to the point that there are going to be poems that I can't write now that I hope five years from now I'll be able to write. And there are poems I'm writng now, like the Dark Shadows books, that I couldn't have possibly done five years ago, maybe ten years ago. I'll interpret that as a poem I idolize, that I hope my work can aspire to, and that would be George Oppen's "Of Being Numerous." I want to be able to write a poem like that.

CPR: OK, your version, your equivalent of that? 

TT: I want to do my equivalent of that someday, yeah... And maybe I'm doing it now, and twenty years from now I'll say, "Oh, I was doing it!"

CPR: "I did it!"

TT: But, you know, I don't feel that way yet.