July 30, 2014
In a new Late Night Library interview by co-founder and director Paul Martone, poet Keetje Kuipers reveals extremely personal aspects of her new book, The Keys to the Jail: “I challenged myself constantly in the poems in this book to write to emotional places that actually shamed me … I’m always trying to argue something in my poems. I’m never willing to give in to the complacent or passive, especially not when trying to translate some portion of my personal experience into poetry.”
The Keys to the Jail continues Elizabeth Bishop’s tradition of the art of losing, but delves deeper, asking the question of who is to blame for all we’ve lost. This new collection calls us to reexamine the harsh words of failed love, the aging of a once-beautiful body, and our own voracious desires.
In the interview, Kuipers touches upon the various underlying themes of her collection, including “theories of power and status when it comes to heterosexual relationships,” “foreverness,” “the mask of distance separating two friends,” and ”the complications of attempting to reconcile one’s identities as a woman.”
Although Kuipers admits that the overall tone of her collection emulates a raw sadness, “full of loss and longing,” she also notes that the speaker of her poems “turns, if not hopeful, at least calm and clear-eyed enough to see that someday hope might be a possibility.”
According to interviewer Paul Martone: “I was thrilled to receive The Keys to the Jail from BOA Editions this spring … It’s damn good.”
The Keys to the Jail is now available for purchase through the BOA Bookstore.