Sep/Oct 2018 • Vol. XL No. 5 Interview |

Below the Real World

Introduction   Over thirty years ago I was introduced to Laurence Lieberman via his poem “The Coral Reef ” in a contemporary American literature class. Even if you’ve never been diving before, there is an excitement to Lieberman’s underwater action—the peril that lay beneath the surface—death waiting in all its beauty, all the metaphors for so many things in life, and within the poem there was the draw of the ocean depths, the documentary of salt-water dangers, the risk when entering a world where he/she doesn’t belong, the seeming inability to pull away and return to the surface. As an experienced spearfisher, Lieberman understood the jeopardy of taking one long breath “… to go deep, to die into life, to lie there in rich / corrosion … breaking down and entering every canal and cell … to every pocket of life.” Lieberman knew better than most that when entering that “pocket of life” it makes one’s life more interesting and survivable. As James Dick

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William Walsh, the author of six books, is the director of the Etowah Valley low-residency MFA program at Reinhardt University. His collection of poems, Fly Fishing in Times Square, recently won the Editor’s Book Prize at Červená Barva Press. His interviews with Rita Dove, Eamon Grennan, and Ursula Le Guin appeared in past issues of the Kenyon Review. Since 1980, he has resided in Atlanta but plans on moving to Ireland or Colorado, depending upon traffic.
Laurence Lieberman's recent books include Flight from the Mother Stone (University of Arkansas Press, 2000), The Regatta in the Skies: Selected Long Poems (University of Georgia Press, 1999), Compass of the Dying (University of Arkansas Press, 1998) and Beyond the Muse of Memory: Essays on Contemporary American Poets (University of Missouri Press, 1995).

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