Meet the Editor: Bruce Bond

Interview conducted by American Literary Review Editors

Bruce Bond is a Poetry Editor at American Literary Review. He is the author of, most recently, the poetry collection The Calling, out from Parlor Press. Bruce will be signing books at AWP at the ALR table (T1353) on Thursday from 1-2 pm. We asked Bruce a few questions about his views on craft, his work, and his editorial philosophy.

ALR: What was the last book you read, in any genre, that taught you something new about your craft?

Bruce Bond: The last book I read that taught me something new about my craft was Édouard Glissant’s The Poetics of Relation, wherein he takes the notion of rhizomic memory from Deluze and maps its relation to the slave trade in the Americas, how interconnected experience figures “beneath the surface” of daily relations that both evoke and destabilize our sense of collective identities.  I think of this as not only a fascinating subject for poetry but also a fascinating parallel to how poetic meaning works in both poems and interpersonal speech.  I am especially attracted to explorations into the psychology of power and identity as something to be explored via the distinctive strengths of poetry, with its profound and simultaneous inward and outward attentions.

ALR: What kinds of research feeds your creative process–music, movies, non-literary texts, archival work, etc.?

BB: I read a lot of philosophy at this age, though at earlier ages I read far more poetry and psychology, particularly humanist psychology of the 60s and 70s.

ALR: Could you talk about what you’re currently work on?

BB: I am currently at work on a long poem cycle entitled “Noosphere” that takes its title from Teilhard de Chardin’s notion that all of culture constitutes a vast complex akin to a body that now covers the entire earth.  What fascinates me is how the factional and nationalist elements emerge more strongly as we ironically grow closer, thereby threatening the survival of the whole.

ALR: As an editor for ALR, can you say a little about what kind of work excites you when you see it in our submissions queue?

BB: I prefer poems with imaginative power, complexity and momentum of feeling and idea, precision and freshness of language and phrasing, and some implicit sense of exploration and surprise.

Bruce Bond is the author of twenty-five books including, most recently, Immanent Distance: Poetry and the Metaphysics of the Near at Hand (U of MI, 2015), Black Anthem (Tampa Review Prize, U of Tampa, 2016), Gold Bee (Helen C. Smith Award, Crab Orchard Award, SIU Press, 2016), Sacrum (Four Way, 2017), Blackout Starlight: New and Selected Poems 1997-2015 (L.E. Phillabaum Award, LSU, 2017), Rise and Fall of the Lesser Sun Gods (Elixir Book Prize, Elixir Press, 2018), Dear Reader (Free Verse Editions, 2018), Frankenstein’s Children (Lost Horse, 2018), Plurality and the Poetics of Self (Palgrave, 2019), and Words Written Against the Walls of the City (LSU, 2019).  Presently he is a Regents Professor of English at the University of North Texas.