April 18, 2014

Praise for ‘Little Details’

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Thank you, Katherine, for writing about my poem “Biscuits” (“Little Details: Anatomy of a poem,” April 25, 2013). It was a joy to stumble on your column.

A poet never knows who will be moved by her work and who will be able to enter it deeply. You totally got what I hoped would be taken away from the poem: that each life has value and meaning, its social commentary on class and a sense of one’s place in terms of hierarchy, identity and region. I often write persona poems. I was living in Knoxville, Tenn. at the time I wrote “Biscuits.” Appalachian culture was very exotic for a girl raised in Brooklyn. I now live in Portland, Ore. My last poetry collection was “Storytelling in Cambodia.” I will have a new collection of linked poems about myself and my parents entitled “Rending the Garment” coming out in 2014.

Thanks again for writing “Little Details: Anatomy of a poem.” The depth of your understanding of “Biscuits” makes me feel that sometimes poems are messages in bottles that actually find readers.

Willa Schneberg

Portland, Ore.

Editor’s note: A version of this letter was originally sent as an email to the Observer and Little Details columnist Katherine Bielewa Stamper. 

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