The International Literary Quarterly
Contributors

Shanta Acharya
Marjorie Agosín
Donald Adamson
Diran Adebayo
Nausheen Ahmad
Toheed Ahmad
Amanda Aizpuriete
Baba Akote
Elisa Albo
Daniel Albright
Meena Alexander
Rosetta Allan
María Teresa Andruetto
Innokenty Annensky
Claudia Apablaza
Robert Appelbaum
Michael Arditti
Jenny Argante
Sandra Arnold
C.J.K. Arkell
Agnar Artúvertin
Sarah Arvio
Rosemary Ashton
Mammed Aslan
Coral Atkinson
Rose Ausländer
Shushan Avagyan
Razif Bahari
Elizabeth Baines
Jo Baker
Ismail Bala
Evgeny Baratynsky
Saule Abdrakhman-kyzy Batay
Konstantin Nikolaevich Batyushkov
William Bedford
Gillian Beer
Richard Berengarten
Charles Bernstein
Ilya Bernstein
Mashey Bernstein
Christopher Betts
Sujata Bhatt
Sven Birkerts
Linda Black
Chana Bloch
Amy Bloom
Mary Blum Devor
Michael Blumenthal
Jean Boase-Beier
Jorge Luis Borges
Alison Brackenbury
Julia Brannigan
Theo Breuer
Iain Britton
Françoise Brodsky
Amy Brown
Bernard Brown
Diane Brown
Gay Buckingham
Carmen Bugan
Stephen Burt
Zarah Butcher McGunnigle
James Byrne
Kevin Cadwallander
Howard Camner
Mary Caponegro
Marisa Cappetta
Helena Cardoso
Adrian Castro
Luis Cernuda
Firat Cewerî
Pierre Chappuis
Neil Charleton
Janet Charman
Sampurna Chattarji
Amit Chaudhuri
Mèlissa Chiasson
Ronald Christ
Alex Cigale
Sally Cline
Marcelo Cohen
Lila Cona
Eugenio Conchez
Andrew Cowan
Mary Creswell
Christine Crow
Pedro Xavier Solís Cuadra
Majella Cullinane
P. Scott Cunningham
Emma Currie
Jeni Curtis
Stephen Cushman
David Dabydeen
Susan Daitch
Rubén Dario
Jean de la Fontaine
Denys Johnson Davies
Lydia Davis
Robert Davreu
David Dawnay
Jill Dawson
Rosalía de Castro
Joanne Rocky Delaplaine
Patricia Delmar
Christine De Luca
Tumusiime Kabwende Deo
Paul Scott Derrick
Josephine Dickinson
Belinda Diepenheim
Jenny Diski
Rita Dove
Arkadii Dragomoschenko
Paulette Dubé
Denise Duhamel
Jonathan Dunne
S. B. Easwaran
Jorge Edwards
David Eggleton
Mohamed El-Bisatie
Tsvetanka Elenkova
Johanna Emeney
Osama Esber
Fiona Farrell
Ernest Farrés
Elaine Feinstein
Gigi Fenster
Micah Timona Ferris
Vasil Filipov
Maria Filippakopoulou
Ruth Fogelman
Peter France
Alexandra Fraser
Bashabi Fraser
Janis Freegard
Robin Fry
Alice Fulton
Ulrich Gabriel
Manana Gelashvili
Laurice Gilbert
Paul Giles
Zulfikar Ghose
Corey Ginsberg
Chrissie Gittins
Sarah Glazer
Michael Glover
George Gömöri
Giles Goodland
Martin Goodman
Roberta Gordenstein
Mina Gorji
Maria Grech Ganado
David Gregory
Philip Gross
Carla Guelfenbein
Daniel Gunn
Charles Hadfield
Haidar Haidar
Ruth Halkon
Tomás Harris
Geoffrey Hartman
Siobhan Harvey
Beatriz Hausner
John Haynes
Jennifer Hearn
Helen Heath
Geoffrey Heptonstall
Felisberto Hernández
W.N. Herbert
William Hershaw
Michael Hettich
Allen Hibbard
Hassan Hilmi
Rhisiart Hincks
Kerry Hines
Amanda Hopkinson
Adam Horovitz
David Howard
Sue Hubbard
Aamer Hussein
Fahmida Hussain
Alexander Hutchison
Sabine Huynh
Juan Kruz Igerabide Sarasola
Neil Langdon Inglis
Jouni Inkala
Ofonime Inyang
Kevin Ireland
Michael Ives
Philippe Jacottet
Robert Alan Jamieson
Rebecca Jany
Andrea Jeftanovic
Ana Jelnikar
Miroslav Jindra
Stephanie Johnson
Bret Anthony Johnston
Marion Jones
Tim Jones
Gabriel Josipovici
Pierre-Albert Jourdan
Sophie Judah
Tomoko Kanda
Maarja Kangro
Jana Kantorová-Báliková
Fawzi Karim
Kapka Kassabova
Susan Kelly-DeWitt
Mimi Khalvati
Daniil Kharms
Velimir Khlebnikov
Akhmad hoji Khorazmiy
David Kinloch
John Kinsella
Yudit Kiss
Tomislav Kuzmanović
Andrea Labinger
Charles Lambert
Christopher Lane
Jan Lauwereyns
Fernando Lavandeira
Graeme Lay
Ilias Layios
Hiên-Minh Lê
Mikhail Lermontov
Miriam Levine
Suzanne Jill Levine
Micaela Lewitt
Zhimin Li
Joanne Limburg
Birgit Linder
Pippa Little
Parvin Loloi
Christopher Louvet
Helen Lowe
Ana Lucic
Aonghas MacNeacail
Kona Macphee
Kate Mahony
Sara Maitland
Channah Magori
Vasyl Makhno
Marcelo Maturana Montañez
Stephanie Mayne
Ben Mazer
Harvey Molloy
Osip Mandelstam
Alberto Manguel
Olga Markelova
Laura Marney
Geraldine Maxwell
John McAuliffe
Peter McCarey
John McCullough
Richard McKane
John MacKinven
Cilla McQueen
Edie Meidav
Ernst Meister
Lina Meruane
Jesse Millner
Deborah Moggach
Mawatle J. Mojalefa
Jonathan Morley
César Moro
Helen Mort
Laura Moser
Andrew Motion
Paola Musa
Robin Myers
André Naffis-Sahely
Vivek Narayanan
Bob Natifu
María Negroni
Hernán Neira
Barbra Nightingale
Paschalis Nikolaou
James Norcliffe
Carol Novack
Annakuly Nurmammedov
Joyce Carol Oates
Sunday Enessi Ododo
Obododimma Oha
Michael O'Leary
Antonio Diaz Oliva
Wilson Orhiunu
Maris O'Rourke
Sue Orr
Wendy O'Shea-Meddour
María Claudia Otsubo
Ruth Padel
Ron Padgett
Thalia Pandiri
Judith Dell Panny
Hom Paribag
Lawrence Patchett
Ian Patterson
Georges Perros
Pascale Petit
Aleksandar Petrov
Mario Petrucci
Geoffrey Philp
Toni Piccini
Henning Pieterse
Robert Pinsky
Mark Pirie
David Plante
Nicolás Poblete
Sara Poisson
Clare Pollard
Mori Ponsowy
Wena Poon
Orest Popovych
Jem Poster
Begonya Pozo
Pauline Prior-Pitt
Eugenia Prado Bassi
Ian Probstein
Sheenagh Pugh
Kate Pullinger
Zosimo Quibilan, Jr
Vera V. Radojević
Margaret Ranger
Tessa Ransford
Shruti Rao
Irina Ratushinskaya
Tanyo Ravicz
Richard Reeve
Sue Reidy
Joan Retallack
Laura Richardson
Harry Ricketts
Ron Riddell
Cynthia Rimsky
Loreto Riveiro Alvarez
James Robertson
Peter Robertson
Gonzalo Rojas
Dilys Rose
Gabriel Rosenstock
Jack Ross
Anthony Rudolf
Basant Rungta
Joseph Ryan
Sean Rys
Jostein Sæbøe
André Naffis Sahely
Eurig Salisbury
Fiona Sampson
Polly Samson
Priya Sarukkai Chabria
Maree Scarlett
John Schad
Michael Schmidt
L.E. Scott
Maureen Seaton
Alexis Sellas
Hadaa Sendoo
Chris Serio
Resul Shabani
Bina Shah
Yasir Shah
Daniel Shapiro
Ruth Sharman
Tina Shaw
David Shields
Ana María Shua
Christine Simon
Iain Sinclair
Katri Skala
Carole Smith
Ian C. Smith
Elizabeth Smither
John Stauffer
Jim Stewart
Susan Stewart
Jesper Svenbro
Virgil Suárez
Lars-Håkan Svensson
Sridala Swami
Rebecca Swift
George Szirtes
Chee-Lay Tan
Tugrul Tanyol
José-Flore Tappy
Alejandro Tarrab
Campbell Taylor
John Taylor
Judith Taylor
Petar Tchouhov
Miguel Teruel
John Thieme
Karen Thornber
Tim Tomlinson
Angela Topping
David Trinidad
Kola Tubosun
Nick Vagnoni
Joost Vandecasteele
Jan van Mersbergen
Latika Vasil
Yassen Vassilev
Lawrence Venuti
Lidia Vianu
Dev Virahsawmy
Anthony Vivis
Richard Von Sturmer
Răzvan Voncu
Nasos Vayenas
Mauricio Wacquez
Julie Marie Wade
Alan Wall
Marina Warner
Mia Watkins
Peter Wells
Stanley Wells
Laura Watkinson
Joe Wiinikka-Lydon
Hayden Williams
Edwin Williamson
Ronald V. Wilson
Stephen Wilson
Alison Wong
Leslie Woodard
Elzbieta Wójcik-Leese
Niel Wright
Manolis Xexakis
Xu Xi
Gao Xingjian
Sonja Yelich
Tamar Yoseloff
Augustus Young
Soltobay Zaripbekov
Karen Zelas
Alan Ziegler
Ariel Zinder

 

President, Publisher & Founding Editor:
Peter Robertson
Vice-President: Glenna Luschei
Vice-President: Sari Nusseibeh
Vice-President: Elena Poniatowska
U. S. General Editor: Neil Langdon Inglis
London Editor/Senior Editor-at-Large: Geraldine Maxwell
New York Editor/Senior Editor-at-Large: Meena Alexander
Washington D.C. Editor/Senior
Editor-at-Large:
Laura Moser
Argentine Editor: Yamila Musa
Deputy Editor: Allen Hibbard
Deputy Editor: Jerónimo Mohar Volkow
Deputy Editor: Bina Shah
Advisory Consultant: Jill Dawson
General Editor: Beatriz Hausner
General Editor: Malvina Segui
Art Editor: Lara Alcantara-Lansberg
Art Editor: Calum Colvin
Deputy General Editor: Jeff Barry

Consulting Editors
Shanta Acharya
Marjorie Agosín
Daniel Albright
Meena Alexander
Maria Teresa Andruetto
Frank Ankersmit
Rosemary Ashton
Reza Aslan
Leonard Barkan
Michael Barry
Shadi Bartsch
Thomas Bartscherer
Susan Bassnett
Gillian Beer
David Bellos
Richard Berengarten
Charles Bernstein
Sujata Bhatt
Mario Biagioli
Jean Boase-Beier
Elleke Boehmer
Eavan Boland
Stephen Booth
Alain de Botton
Carmen Boullossa
Rachel Bowlby
Svetlana Boym
Peter Brooks
Marina Brownlee
Roberto Brodsky
Carmen Bugan
Jenni Calder
Stanley Cavell
Hollis Clayson
Sarah Churchwell
Marcelo Cohen
Kristina Cordero
Drucilla Cornell
Junot Díaz
André Dombrowski
Denis Donoghue
Ariel Dorfman
Rita Dove
Denise Duhamel
Klaus Ebner
Robert Elsie
Stefano Evangelista
Orlando Figes
Tibor Fischer
Shelley Fisher Fishkin
Peter France
Nancy Fraser
Maureen Freely
Michael Fried
Marjorie Garber
Anne Garréta
Marilyn Gaull
Zulfikar Ghose
Paul Giles
Lydia Goehr
Vasco Graça Moura
A. C. Grayling
Stephen Greenblatt
Lavinia Greenlaw
Lawrence Grossberg
Edith Grossman
Elizabeth Grosz
Boris Groys
David Harsent
Benjamin Harshav
Geoffrey Hartman
François Hartog
Molly Haskell
Selina Hastings
Beatriz Hausner
Valerie Henitiuk
Kathryn Hughes
Aamer Hussein
Djelal Kadir
Kapka Kassabova
John Kelly
Martin Kern
Mimi Khalvati
Joseph Koerner
Annette Kolodny
Julia Kristeva
George Landow
Chang-Rae Lee
Mabel Lee
Linda Leith
Suzanne Jill Levine
Lydia Liu
Margot Livesey
Julia Lovell
Thomas Luschei
Willy Maley
Alberto Manguel
Ben Marcus
Paul Mariani
Marina Mayoral
Richard McCabe
Campbell McGrath
Jamie McKendrick
Edie Meidav
Jack Miles
Toril Moi
Susana Moore
Laura Mulvey
Azar Nafisi
Martha Nussbaum
Tim Parks
Clare Pettitt
Caryl Phillips
Robert Pinsky
Elizabeth Powers
Elizabeth Prettejohn
Martin Puchner
Kate Pullinger
Paula Rabinowitz
Rajeswari Sunder Rajan
James Richardson
François Rigolot
Geoffrey Robertson
Ritchie Robertson
Avital Ronell
Carla Sassi
Michael Scammell
Celeste Schenck
Daniel Shapiro
Sudeep Sen
Hadaa Sendoo
Miranda Seymour
Daniel Shapiro
Mimi Sheller
Elaine Showalter
Penelope Shuttle
Werner Sollors
Frances Spalding
Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak
Julian Stallabrass
Susan Stewart
Rebecca Stott
Mark Strand
Kathryn Sutherland
John Whittier Treat
David Treuer
David Trinidad
Marjorie Trusted
Lidia Vianu
Victor Vitanza
Marina Warner
David Wellbery
Edwin Williamson
Michael Wood
Theodore Zeldin

Assistant Editor: Sara Besserman
Assistant Editor: Ana de Biase
Assistant Editor: Conor Bracken
Assistant Editor: Eugenio Conchez
Assistant Editor: Patricia Delmar
Assistant Editor: Lucila Gallino
Assistant Editor: Sophie Lewis
Assistant Editor: Krista Oehlke
Assistant Editor: Siska Rappé
Assistant Editor: Naomi Schub
Assistant Editor: Stephanie Smith
Assistant Editor: Emily Snyder
Assistant Editor: Robert Toperter
Assistant Editor: Laurence Webb
Art Consultant: Verónica Barbatano
Art Consultant: Angie Roytgolz

 

Pascale Petit portrait by Kitty Sullivan
FEATURED INTERVIEW:
INTERLITQ ASKS PASCALE PETIT NINE QUESTIONS
 

 



Interlitq: As you are about to visit the Peruvian Amazon, can you tell us how this trip fits in with your current artistic concerns?

PP: Thank you for interviewing me. This June Iím going to Tambopata National Park, to a very remote research station in the Peruvian Amazon. The sleeping quarters of this station are open to the forest on one side, so you can see monkeys from your bed and Iíve heard that macaws fly in to steal food! The station is near the largest macaw salt lick known, a cliff by the Tambopata River, where they flock to replenish minerals they need in their diet. Iíll be going on night and dawn walks to observe the wildlife and hopefully get more information about the trees and plants.

Iím very lucky that the Arts Council have funded me to go on this trip, and to take time off to finish Mama Amazonica, the collection Iím working on. The book is set in the Amazon jungle and in a psychiatric ward, so I wanted to have new experiences of the rainforest; I havenít been there since I went to the Venezuelan Amazon twenty years ago. That time I trekked in the Lost World, climbed Mount Roraima and was canoed to the base of Angel Falls by the local Pemůn people, so the type of jungle I saw was cloud-forest, not much of the lowland forest with giant trees.

Interlitq: Could you tell us more about your last book, Fauverie and your forthcoming book, Mama Amazonica.

PP: The Fauverie of my sixth collection is the name of the big-cat house in the Jardin des Plantes zoo in Parisís Latin Quarter, but it was also in a way my fatherís flat which was nearby, a wild and ferocious place for me to be during the two years I visited him while he was dying of emphysema.

The real star of the book is Aramis the benign black jaguar, who resided at the Mťnagerie, during the time I went back and forth to Paris to write the poems. The story is about my fatherís reappearance after vanishing for thirty-five years, and my re-acquaintance with Paris, city of my birth and where I spent my early childhood. I fell in love with Paris when I visited it as a tourist. The troubled relationship with my father gave me an opportunity to study a man who had been cruel and abusive, to look at what could be retrieved and redeemed, given that there are many places in the world where those in power are cruel.

Mama Amazonica is the other side of the picture, as it is my motherís story, from the moment she met my father to the moment she died, years later, from complications brought on by the massive doses of the many medications she was prescribed for her manic depression and psychosis. I have set her story in the Amazon as well as in a psychiatric hospital, to open up the focus, and to make an estranged parent lovable, but dangerous as the creatures of that setting. I say that, but actually thatís how the poems are writing themselves, so Iím only guessing that this is the secret plan! The title poem ĎMama Amazonicaí depicts my mother as a giant waterlily fertilised by beetles, in a backwater of the jungle. Iím thrilled that Bloodaxe has offered to publish it in September 2017.

Interlitq: Would you go as far as to say that your poems are verbal sculptures? Have you given up sculpture altogether?

PP: I have given up sculpture. But I still feel that Iím making sculptures in my poems, with words. I like to make my poems as physical as possible, and the form of the image is crucial to me. I see my poems as objects and installations and the book as an exhibition in a gallery, exceptÖ that itís portable! Which is a wonderful idea, that you can carry an exhibition around and store it in a bookshelf! In Mama Amazonica many of the sculptures are tiny, contained in two to ten lines, so you could pick them up if they were made of materials, but there are a fair number of much longer poems, that could be thought of as installations. The title poem feels like an installation to me, or a video film.

Interlitq: You were born in France and spend long periods of time in Paris. Is a French identity at the core of your work?

PP: A non-British identity is at the core of my work, but Iím not sure itís a French one, even though I am French and was born in Paris, and donít have British nationality. My heritage is complicated and misty! On my motherís side thereís my Welsh/Asian grandmother, who brought me up, though her part Welsh heritage was originally from Ireland. She was half Pakistani and thereís been a lot of secrecy about that. On my fatherís side, I think the roots are all French, though my Gran did tell me he was part Algerian, but I donít think that was true. He did live in Algeria, in the Kabylie Mountains, though, for part of his disappearance, and had close Algerian friends. When I go to France Iím perceived as English because I speak French with an English accent, so Iím an outsider in my own country! This mixture of confused identities may be one of the reasons that I write about Ďelsewhereí in my poems Ė there is a search for home and a feeling of being an outsider.

Interlitq: How central are themes of violence and gender issues to your work? Also tell us more about your preoccupation with the environment.

PP: Iíd say these concerns are central. I hope that readers donít just read my poems as personal and autobiographical, I would hope they reach beyond the Ďconfessionalí. Abuse of women and children is a worldwide problem and in certain societies is extreme.

My environmental concerns must originate from my childhood I think, when I lived with my grandmother in mid-Wales, and she had what seemed to me to be a huge garden. I worked in the garden for my keep, and loved it. Later, I spent summer holidays camping with my mother in an overgrown terraced vineyard she had bought in the south of France, and that place must have been my second childhood ĎAmazoní. Both places planted a deep love of nature and a feeling that the natural world in its wild state is an ally, a place of retreat and consolation. Gran had a lot of animals, and after my unhappy infancy in Paris, they must have made a deep impression: I adored them and bonded with them. As I grow older it horrifies me that many species are now endangered.

Interlitq: Do you continue to reflect on Frida Kahlo, pivotal as she has been to your poetic development? Are you drawn to Mexico?

PP: I am continuing to use some of the images, which I wrote about in What the Water Gave Me. For example, in Mama Amazonica, I have created my own hummingbird necklace, after the painting of hers ĎSelf-Portrait with Thorn Necklace and Hummingbirdí. The necklace has a particular significance in this book but also carries much of the meaning it had for Frida Kahlo and Mexican symbolism. So although I thought Iíd finished with her imagery Iím finding I havenít quite, that Iím enlarging it in another context.

I am very drawn to Mexico, though havenít been there for a few years now. Iíd love to see Frida Kahloís Blue House, now that her bathroom and wardrobe are open. I wanted to see them when I went before but they were sealed to the public.

Interlitq: How do you see the state of English poetry these days?

PP: If you mean British poetry, itís at a very interesting state just now, in transition mode. There are still some conservative tendencies, but the upsurge of young poets, women poets, and those of mixed and other heritages, is in the process of transforming it, making it more lively, varied, and emotionally open. There are so many exciting poets writing now.

Interlitq: Now that you are based in Cornwall, do you miss Walthamstow?

PP: No I donít. I had been trying to get away from London for years, and am much happier in the deep country here, surrounded by birds and lush greenery, and our own wild river 100 yards downhill from our house, the Lynher, which roars down from Bodmin Moor.

Interlitq: Where do you see yourself a year from now?

PP: I hope to see myself writing away in my garden den. Itís beautiful in spring. As to what Iíll be writing, I have no idea yet.

Pascale Petit's website

Pascale Petit's Wikipedia Entry

Fauverie

Mama Amazonica

Featured Interviews