Monday, April 9, 2012

Sarah Gorham on "BOMBBlog" Podcast

Four Way Books author, Sarah Gorham, read from her latest book, Bad Daughter, on "Phoned-in", a podcast for Bomb Magazine. She also talks about Sarabande Books, the publishing company she began with her husband and more in an interview.

"Perhaps Sarah Gorham’s most important contribution is the literary press she created with her husband: Sarabande Books. Gorham writes that, “Our focus is on poetry and short fiction, genres that in the recent past have received less than generous attention from the mainstream publishing industry.” In an interview with Nin Andrews from Best American Poetry, Gorham speaks about the two-sided nature of Sarabande Books, but her comments speak are especially apt regarding Bad Daughter:

The word sarabande has such an interesting history. A “sex dance” originating in the New World, imported to Spain, where it was banned in 1583 under penalty of death. Later, civilized by the English, German, French. The word suggested the kind of literature we look for: accomplished and elegant on the surface, with a wild underside.
Many of Gorham’s poems (e.g. “Scaffold for a Sonnet” and “Barbecue”) aren’t experimental with form, but what lies beneath is a certain untenable wildness.
If one were to say one thing about Bad Daughter, it wouldn’t be about daughters at all, but the way in which humans interact with their imaginations as well as their memories. For instance, Gorham imagines a well that “seeps rather than contains,” drawing people in with its mystery and foreboding. She ends with a further re-imagining of the “well” with, “Imagine a sunset, lavender and red / as battered morals, the underworld, / eager to drink.” While imagination can lead us to fanciful and foreboding places, it can also lead to incomplete and faulty attempts at memory and perception, as in “Doppleganger,,” “Bust of a Young Girl in Winter,” and “Barbecue.” In each of these a daughter is remembered in an almost perverse way—perverse in the sense of so far against the reality of the situation—by those around her. She is consistently the subject—not the creator. In the end, daughters seem to be a lens through which Gorham examines the art of writing (e.g. “Scaffold for a Sonnet”) and memories, the stories which we write ourselves."

Read more of the interview and listen to the podcast here. For a copy of Bad Daughter and see what is new at Four Way Books (like our Spring 2012 titles!), go here.