Shafer Hall, your reporter, and our Muse

On of the things that makes life on earth rewarding and worthwhile: Shafer Hall’s laid-back, inspired, truth-telling poems:  http://shaferhall.blogspot.com/2010/07/poem-1-to-accompany-stills-from-film.html I love Shafer & have been a worshipful fan of his work for a long while. Sometimes I throw my 2c in but mostly I just sit back and bask in it. Since 1999, Shafer and I have been collaborating on little projects, and this week, as it happens, Bill Walsh was kind enough to post an interview with us about our process of togetherness the blog arm of the Kenyon Review. In answering his excellent queries, we aimed, as always, to amuse.

How does the physicality of writing play out when you’re collaborating?

We don’t have the physicality of a team like Josh Beckman and Matthew Rohrer, but anyone who knows us would admit that when we get started, we are slow to slow down.

We write from our individual desks (or we used to, before Shafer had an iphone), so when we are physically present behind them, respectively, at the same time, we tend to get more done. In many ways, our most productive period was the year when Shafer worked as an analyst at Standard & Poors, and John was frantically freelancing in Daniel Ellsberg’s old dining room in Cambridge. Consequently, so you could say the best periods for our poetry have simultaneously been the worst for our actual bodies.

& speaking of poetry, this man is insane. Still, I’m excited to read his interview with my friend Maureen, which I guess will be up on the new Jacket, when there’s a new Jacket.