Sunday, September 04, 2022

What is Kathleen Rooney reading?

Featured at Writers Read: Kathleen Rooney, author of Where Are the Snows: Poems.

Her entry begins:
Currently, I’m working on the research for a project that I hope will become my next novel. I’ve always been intrigued by Westerns and would like to try my hand at writing one. I’m fascinated, right now, less by the oft-told tales of the prairies and plains and more by the less-told ones of the mining communities that sprang up in the middle of the country.

I love research generally, but the moments when I find a book that points out something totally insightful that I’ve sort of intuited but not fully expressed to myself are my favorites. Right now, I’m reading such a book, Rocky Mountain Mining Camps: The Urban Frontier by Duane A. Smith from 1974.

He puts his finger directly on something I’d been observing for months, but not in quite so many words: unlike traditional cowboy stories...[read on]
About Where Are the Snows, from the publisher:
Where Are the Snows takes its title from the famous refrain of François Villon’s 15th Century poem “Ballad of the Ladies of Times Past.” Like that poem, the book functions, among other things, as an ubi sunt, Latin for “Where are they?” as in “Where are the ones who came before us?”—the beautiful, the strong, the virtuous, all of them? In keeping with that long tradition, these poems offer a way to think about life’s transience—its beauty, its absurdity, and of course its mortality. Allusive and associative, anti-capitalist and unapologetically political, aligned somewhere between comedy and anger, this poetry juxtaposes the triumphs and tragedies (mostly tragedies) of our current age with those of history, and—by wondering “Where are they?”—explores the questions of where we are now and where we might be going.
Learn more about the book and author at Kathleen Rooney's website.

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--Marshal Zeringue