The interviews with major award-winning poet Li-Young Lee in Breaking the Alabaster Jar offer access to the poet's evolving concepts of what it means to be an artist, the way art can lead the reader toward essential metaphysical concerns, and what it means to be a kind of literary mystic in the 21st century. Readers will find Lee's comments on his writing both provocative and engaging. Literary scholar Earl G. Ingersoll collected and edited the interviews, and wrote the insightful introduction. Several interviews appeared in important American journals while others appear here in print for the first time.
"The conversations in this collection have special value because Li-Young Lee has never been an academic and has little interest in academic discourse. As these conversations make clear, this is not because he has nothing to add to the contemporary discourse about writing poetry. This collection offers what Lee does best—other than write poems, of course. The conversations allow him to read his poems and talk about the context in which he recalls writing them."
—Earl G. Ingersoll
"Conversations with Li-Young Lee is the first edited and published collections of interviews given by an Asian-American poet. While the fact that a book happens to be 'a landmark' (in the sense that it attempts to undertake an original endeavor) does not necessarily make it good, I think that this volume of Li-Young Lee's thoughts on poetry, aesthetics, and life is superlative—both in concept and execution."
© BOA Editions Ltd. 2006