Last spring poets and friends Edgar Kunz and Anders Carlson-Wee joined the Sewanee Review for the Red Rug Reading series, a collaboration with the University’s English Department and student literary magazine, The Mountain Goat. The reading series has featured readings by Kentucky Poet Laureate George Ella Lyon and Nashville native Tiana Clark. At the time, Kunz’s and Carlson-Wee’s debut poetry collections, Tap Out and The Low Passions respectively, had been serendipitously published within a week of each other.
Where Kunz’s Tap Out maps a half-feral adolescence in New England, Carlson-Wee’s The Low Passions occupies the winter wastes of a too-forgotten Upper Midwest. Both collections are catalogues of place and reclamations of the self, born from overlapping experience and an uncanny lyric aptitude.
The two poets met in the Vanderbilt creative writing MFA, and they share, among these certain stylistic affinities (and perhaps in spite of them), the kind of friendship that sharpens their work and days, one they felt worth sharing on record: “It’s hard to overstate. Our friendship is one of the most important things to me,” Kunz noted. “I don’t really know what it’s like for other writers, but for us we’ve just somehow had a bond that hasn’t felt threatening. It’s felt just very creative, and it’s felt very uplifting and meaningful,” said Carlson-Wee said in response.
Assistant Editor Spencer Hupp speaks to them here about Nashville, teachers, and teaching; about the writers who have influenced them, and the ways that friendship can reconfigure the world of the self and one’s work.
The Sewanee Review Podcast is recorded in the Ralston Listening Room at the University of the South. It is produced by Hellen Wainaina and edited by Alex Martin with music by Annie Bowers. Don’t miss any of our conversations with some of today’s best writers. Subscribe to the Sewanee Review Podcast on Apple Podcasts and Spotify. Both collections can be purchased from Bookshop: Tap Out by Edgar Kunz and The Low Passions by Anders Carlson-Wee.