Susan Stewart argues that poetry is a “slow” art form. What does she mean by this claim? Literary and academic critics acclaimed her last book of poems, Columbarium, published in 2003, as majestic. She took eight years to write it. How does her concept of poetry fit into the fast-paced modern world of instant blogs and 25 word-or-less elevator speeches?
Susan Stewart’s most recent book of poems is Red Rover. Her most recent translation, from the Italian original, Love Lessons: Selected Poems of Alda Merini, will be published by Princeton in May, 2009. Professor of English at Princeton, she is widely seen as an important contributor to the theory of poetry through her books, The Open Studio and Poetry and the Fate of the Senses. Columbarium received the 2003 National Book Critics Award. Stewart was honored as a MacArthur Fellow.