vocalisms #16: Maxine Kumin


vocalisms is a regular feature that presents selected tracks from voca, the Poetry Center's online audio video library of more than 800 recorded readings, spanning from 1963 to today.

When poets read from their work, I appreciate hearing them talk honestly about the struggles they’ve gone through with individual pieces. At the beginning of this short track, Maxine Kumin describes the way she wrestled with the form of “After Love”: “I spent a long time struggling with it, and then I kind of capitulated and let the poem have its own way.” Kumin, who served as U.S. Poet Laureate from 1981-1982, read at the Poetry Center again in 1981 and 1990, each time reading poems from across her entire body of work.