Sarasota News Leader

01/11/2013

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A POET'S POET Tony Leuzzi says that though many of the poets he contacted were happy to sit with him face-to-face for their interviews, others would speak with him only via phone or email; some simply refused to offer any comments. He also says one poet conversed with him on two occasions but refused to allow the conversation to be recorded or reproduced. All photos by Arielle Scherr TONY LEUZZI SHARES HIS EXPERIENCES FROM INTERVIEWING MORE THAN 20 AMERICAN POETS FOR HIS NEW BOOK, PASSWORDS PRIMEVAL By Tyler Whitson Staff Writer When Tony Leuzzi discussed his new book, Passwords Primeval: 20 American Poets in Their Own Words, with a small audience at Bookstore 1 in downtown Sarasota the evening of Jan. 2, the award-winning poet, author and tenured college professor made no attempt to hide his excitement. leagues and how he had been influenced and inspired by them. THE AUTHOR AND POET'S INTERVIEWS "I'd like to become the Bill Moyers of poetry," Leuzzi lightheartedly confessed when The Sarasota News Leader asked him during the discussion if he sees himself undertaking a The more deeply Leuzzi delved into the pro- second set of interviews for publication at cess of creating the book –– a collection of some point in the future. interviews conducted over the course of five years with influential and acclaimed poets "I love to do the process," he continued. "The such as Gerald Stern, Patricia Smith, Martín question would be: Is there enough of an audience to buy [a second volume]?" Espada, Dara Weir and Jane Hirshfield –– the more he revealed his passion for capturing the The answer, however, seems to be of secondthoughts and viewpoints of his esteemed col- ary concern to Leuzzi, who said he continues

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