Richard Deming is a poet and a theorist whose work explores the intersections of poetry, philosophy, and visual culture. His first collection of poems, Let’s Not Call It Consequence (Shearsman, 2008), received the 2009 Norma Farber Award from the Poetry Society of America, and was a finalist for the Connecitut Book Award. His new book of poems, Day for Night, is forthcoming this spring. He is also the author of Listening on All Sides: Toward an Emersonian Ethics of Reading (Stanford UP, 2008), and he contributes to such magazines as Artforum, Sight & Sound, and The Boston Review. His poems have appeared in such places as Iowa Review, Colorado Review, American Letters & Commentary, and The Nation. He teaches at Yale University where he is the Director of Creative Writing. Winner of the Berlin Prize, he was the Spring 2012 John P. Birkelund Fellow of the American Academy in Berlin.
What do you do best?
What makes you the best?
Patience, a respect for cosmic irony, and a surprisingly long attention span.
What are your aspirations?
To make others feel not so alone. Everything else feels a bit banal.
Overcoming addiction in my early 20s.
Most Challenging Moment?
One time speaking with a woman in Mexico, she broke down telling me about the very recent death of her husband and I could only respond in broken, basic Spanish. In the face of such loss, words always seem inadequate, but for me never more so than in that moment.
"This one fact the world hates, that the soul becomes” (Ralph Waldo Emerson) and “When the student is ready the teacher appears."
My wife, Nancy Kuhl. My family. Students. People with a good sense of humor.
Boston; Berlin; the second floor of the Strand Bookstore in New York in early evening; the Eastman Museum and the Little Theater (both in Rochester).
Illy Coffee, Bialetti Moka pots, Criterion blu-rays (I’m available for endorsement deals).
Espresso; Orson Welles (I’m working on a book); stand up comedy; outsider art.