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INTERVIEW WITH ANN CARHART

Ann Carhart

Write a bio.

Ann Carhart considers herself to be an old Cambridge poet but readily admits to being born in Brooklyn and falling in love with poetry while living in the Village and attending NYU. She has an M.A. in Writing and one in Counseling/Psychology from Cambridge's Lesley College and an Ed.D. in Human Development from University of Massachusetts (earned in 1998 at age 65). She has read her poems at Harvard University, The Blacksmith House, The Episcopal Divinty School, and the Out of the Blue Gallery.

Her poetry has been published in two anthologies: Cries of the Spirit and Out of the Blue Writers Unite as well as the Heat City Review, Earth's Daughters, The Hartford Courant, Spare Change News and the Lyrical Somerville. Ibbetson Street Press released her first book: "Sanctus! Sanctus! Sanctus!" November 2005.


Describe the space you write in.

I make notes for poems or write lines (to be edited...as May Sarton said "Creation is revision and Revision is creation") in many familiar places. I never go out without pen and paper. Some of my favorite haunts: A certain shady bench in Cambridge Common, a concrete step in front of ABP with a post to lean against in Harvard Square. another bench in Porter Square...well you get it. At home (two rooms these last twenty years in a beautiful old house) my computer lives on an old table in my bedroom...but obviously for me inspiration comes from humanity...which is a good segue into the next question.

Talk about your book.

I designed the cover...a sketch of my Naked Muse next to three Latin Holys...which depicts my basic theology. "Sanctus! Sanctus! Sanctus!" It would have never have happened if it wasn't for Doug Holder...and Ibbetson Street Press. He heard me read and asked if I had ever been published and I told him only in fairly obscure places and he said he wanted to publish a book of my poems. He has helped so many people. I am just the oldest! Seriously, without him...no book...and the joy of handing my book to each one of my four children...well what fun.

Where does "my spunk" (your wonderful words) come from?

Repeating myself..I am inspired as I walk through the world. Obviously, sometimes the world I am walking through is Memory Lane (family poems, old lover poems, etal.) but mostly I see something or hear something and make notes and then eventually get to the computer. Spunk comes from DNA and environment...the old nature/nurture principle I guess. Sometimes I am reflecting...sometime I am wishing, sometimes I am venting.....well I know most writers understand this.

Discuss how you came to Bagel Bards...

It's a total joy to hang with creative folks. Sometimes when I do not manage to go(9 AM so early in the AM) when I do get there it truly is like coming home. It can be both up and downlifting...just like hanging with family folks. Such genuine honesty. No one pretends to believe anything. What you see and hear is a special reality. I love it.

What writers inspire you? Who are some of your favorite writers?

I have lived a long time. This changes over the years. In the 50's in the Village when I took a few courses at dear old NYU I of course loved dear Emily and T. S. Eliot, E. E. Cummings. In the 70's, well Adrienne Rich's "The Will To Change" really moved me... ditto "On Lies, Secrets, and Silence". So did the entire woman's movement. Marge Piercy's "The Moon is Always Female" comes to mind. Can't leave out Anne Sexton, Marianne Moore, Sylvia Plath. Later on, Sharon Olds. And yes, male poets still count! My generation did produce Leonard Cohen after all! He composed inspirational contemporary psalms which changed my thinking and my life. So many many more...the beat goes on...the list goes on.

What are you working on now?

Mostly living and loving. Joking around with poets, I came up with a title for another book of poems..."A Kid From Brooklyn" and I like that...so if there is another book...that's the working title.

Any last comments?

OK. I'll take this opportunity to quote three of my favorite guys. Socrates said: "Know Thyself", Shakespeare wrote "To Thine Own Self Be True", and Dear Langston composed "Hold Fast To Your Dreams...for if they die life is a broken-winged bird which cannot fly." I live by these...and I am flying.

 


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