A Conversation with Gail Mazur
by Sarah Ehrich, 2013
This interview about the Blacksmith House Poetry Series, which will celebrate its fortieth anniversary in 2013, was edited and condensed from a tape recording made as part of the Cambridge Historical Society’s oral history initiative.
“Sometimes a shift in tone is all you’d need to make you happy,” writes Gail Mazur in “American Ghazal,” a poem in her new book, Zeppo’s First Wife. This sizable volume showcases new poems and gathers selections from her four previous books—including They Can’t Take That Away From Me (a finalist for the National Book Award in 2001). In the course of its 264 pages, its tone shifts many times. The opening poem, titled “Enormously Sad,” explores the smallness of personal grief in the world, while the concluding poem, “Baseball,” is a three-page ode to the game’s “firm structure with the mystery / of accidents always contained.”