James Merrill



Elena Gomez Interviews Jahan Ramazani

From opposite sides of the world (east coasts of USA and Australia respectively), US scholar Jahan Ramazani and I began an email correspondence, before meeting face-to-face while he was in Sydney for the AMSN2: Transnational Modernisms Conference in December 2014, where he delivered a keynote address. I was particularly interested in his recent work about the dialogic components of poetic genres, their historical contexts and how they related to transnationalism within and beyond poetics. We discussed how these elements interact and resonate in the world, creolisation processes, postcolonialism and the instability of national boundaries.

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James Merrill House and Its Disembodied Transmissons

Like some piece of technicolour cover-art from a 1950s mystery novel, James Merrill’s Stonington apartment loomed in the background as I stepped out of the gutter-snow and onto the street. I was wearing a bright red coat; the apartment matched the slate-blue winter sky. From the outside, the poet’s house felt as gorgeous and twee as everything else in this tiny – dare I say quaint – fishing village.

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Porch Light

‘How do the angels get to sleep when the Devil leaves the porch light on?’ – Tom Waits 1. If you consulted your own cipher-mind (if what presents as yours could be compressed in such a lazy line), would it …

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