An Interview with Daisy Fried

Poetry faculty member Daisy Fried was recently interviewed for the Cleveland Review of Books.

Read an excerpt of the interview below

Very Funny, Even When It’s Sad: An Interview with Daisy Fried

Interviewer: In your warmhearted forward to The Year the City Emptied you say, “Over… weeks and months I tried another, and another, and each poem I did seemed to have something to say about life in 2020, about illness, about losing one’s beloved, in a corrupt, violent, economically spiraling country led by an incompetent malignant narcissist.” How did you arrive at this project as a book?

Daisy Fried: I started it by accident. My husband was dying. I didn’t have very much time, and I didn’t have very much help for a long time. It was sort of a desperate act, to try to get some time to myself in 2020. Maybe you find this, that when a poem is going well, it’s like you’ve had brain chiropracty, or like suddenly you’re pulling rabbits out of a hat. It doesn’t happen very often, but the world makes sense again for a moment when the poem is working. This was a place I could go for that, where I could go and be myself, and not just be a nursemaid, a person who was basically going nuts with my husband dying. It actually made me be a sane person. I really hate saying that, because I don’t like treating poetry as therapy; I don’t think we are better people for being poets; I don’t think poetry is healing. And yet the act of working on this saved me from… something. It gave me a sense that I am still Daisy, I still have a brain, I am still putting something out…