Vouched Books interviewed the poet Abraham Smith for NaPoMo back a couple weeks ago // here my deer is talkin bout our Hick Poetics Lost Roads Project // you excited? we are...
7. You’ll be putting your editor hat on soon, compiling an anthology of hick poets. How do you define hick poets? Also, please do fill us in on that anthology’s details (the who and the when and the from whom, etc.).
cheeaating: i am cutting pasting an email about what i think about when i think about that word hick: and why i think this anthology has something to say about Class: i am doin this antho with the faaaabulous shelly taylor: i luv her poems: image of owl head spinnin around.. she totally slotmachine spin spins my noggin in the best o’ craaazy ways: and is a very dear friend: yes we are very excited about this antho: very excited: already many of our favorite dreamboat hayseeds are on board for a ride on that rusty bouquet: wheee: commencing the cutting and pasting: here:
first, let’s take the term hick.. as far as i have ever known hick comes from hickory.. from the prez Andrew Jackson.. no favorite of mine.. the ol Indian Killer i believe is what they called him.. a merciless blight upon native america he was.. his nickname i think was something like Ol Hickory because he was the first prez to come from peasant stock.. so folks who took pride in their own humble beginnings via jackson’s humble beginnings were called hicks.. i don’t think shelly nor i are too very concerned about whether or not we are reclaiming a word which has a deep and biting historical legacy of oppression.. because i am not sure that the word hick does have that legacy.. we feel that we like the phrase Hick Poetics because it’s playful.. and because it jabs a bit.. we are both jabby people.. and because it really does sound like a book i’d like to read.. more so than Reclaiming the Pastoral.. also it seems to me that hick is an inclusive word.. does not tie into ethnicity so much.. and seems then a fair open meadow kind of word within which to gather a diverse set of poets..
as for class, i don’t think we are concerned that our hicks have gone on to harvard.. to quote unquote lift themselves out of hickness.. i don’t think we are searching for ‘authentic rustics’.. i don’t think the amount of tweed they have on matters to us.. i put that class sentence in there.. because the countrysides.. tend to be reported upon.. and that vision tends to trend towards the romanticizing of the great beyond.. who is witness to the countrysides? who has the voice? the word class for me means this: the urbane have forever spouted their ethnographies on what’s up in the sticks.. this anthology’s contributors would have the chance to reclaim that literature of witness.. here’s what the sticks really felt / feel like it.. i guess all i meant by class is that: who has the power to craft the narrative of the pasture.. those of us who got stung are getting stung by the ground hornets nest.. those of us who are farriers right now.. we should.. we should have that power..