Kamran Javadizadeh: Fellowship Recipient

Kamran Javadizadeh: Fellowship Recipient


I’m studying a lot of things here. I’m working on my book manuscript, which is called “Bedlam & Parnassus: The Institutionalization of Midcentury American Poetry.” For the past month I’ve been looking at the Robert Lowell papers for the most part, though in the last few days I’ve started to look at the Ezra Pound collection a lot too. I find that there are really two ways that I work, at least, and that both are necessary though they’re quite different. There are certain materials that before I ever came to Austin I knew the Harry Ransom Center had. For instance, there’s a poem called “Shaving” from Robert Lowell’s last book, a book called “Day by Day.” There are drafts of that poem. I know it’s a poem that I’m very interested in. I knew the Harry Ransom Center had those drafts and one of the first things I did when I got here was to request that folder and to look at the pages and pages of drafts that the Harry Ransom Center has that give a kind of history of the poem, from Lowell’s earliest drafts to the more finished ones that resemble the version of the poem that’s in the book. So that’s one kind of process that I have here. It’s a fairly straightforward one. I know there’s something I’m interested in. I spend a long time looking very carefully at very miniscule variations in things that I know ahead of time I’ll be interested in. But I also think it’s important just to get lost in the archive. There’s so much and I think that if all you were to do or if all I was to do was to look at the things I knew ahead of time that I would be interested in that I’d miss other interesting things that you discover along the way.

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