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"John Reibetanz Past and Present: Two Interviews by John Clement Ball," Pan del Muerto 2 (Spring 1992), 3-9.
"John Reibetanz," interview with Ward McBurney, Acta Victoriana 113, No. 2 (April 1989), 12-17.


The process of writing is entering into the otherness of what's out there and making it a subjective utterance.


If I find myself intrigued by certain details, and intrigued in a way that I think might get me writing, it's usually because there are emotional associations attached to those details. The process of writing the poems becomes one of rooting around, rooting oneself deeply enough in the world of the details to try to piece out some of those emotional associations and see where they take you. The more I write the more I feel it absolutely important to reach the point where you've broken through words. . . . You want the words to put the reader in touch with that felt experience.


Poetry humanizes the world for us. Lyric is a means of making personal what's impersonal to start with, and I think in a world that has so much impersonality . . . this becomes more and more important. . . . Poetry gives you a way of dealing with who you are and where you are. I think we need to awaken ourselves to the usefulness of poetry as a means of making connections with ourselves and with what's around us.


I think behind this is a view of what human identity consists of: one's identity is not something found in solitude, [but] through one's relationships with other people . . . There's a give and take that builds the identity of every individual, and . . . it's hard to think of an individual's identity apart from the community. The self in isolation is very much an incomplete self.


John Reibetanz's works copyright © to the author.


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