Sunday, November 15, 2009




Kim Triedman doesn't look like a poet who is looking for trouble. Triedman, a member of Somerville's Bagel Bards, doesn't seek trouble but does see trouble underneath the seemingly placid surface of things. Triedman has recently come to poetry after working in fiction for several years. In a short time she has racked up a number of impressive credits. She has been named the winner of the 2008 Main St. Rag Chapbook Competition, she was a finalist for the 2007 Philbrick Poetry Award, finalist for the 2008 Black River Chapbook Competition, and most recently, semifinalist for the 2008 Parthenon Prize for Fiction. Her poetry has appeared in Byline Magazine, The Aurorean, Poetry Salzburg Review, FRIGG Magazine and others. Her poems have been selected by John Ashbery for the Ashbery Resource Center's online catalogue and has also been included in the John Cage Trust archive at Bard College. She is a graduate of Brown University. I talked with Triedman on my Somerville Community Access TV show " Poet to Poet: Writer to Writer."

Doug Holder: You have accomplished a lot with your poetry and fiction in a short time.

Kim Triedman: Yes in a very short time. Poetry is relatively new. I started writing fiction 10 years ago. I had been working as a medical writer for a number of years. I hadn't done anything in creative writing before that. These stories started to fall together and I started losing more and more sleep. I wound up leaving my day job and doing this novel fulltime. It took me four or five years to get me through the first draft.

Doug Holder: You have a recent poem selected for the John Ashbery Resource Center's online catalogue. Your poems don't impress me as being as abstract as Ashbery's. Tell me why you think it was selected?

Kim Triedman: What can I say. It is not so much like Ashbery but inspired by his process. He talks a lot about a thing called "chance operation" It is heavily influenced by the randomness of events. It is a method that allows yoy to let it work your way into your poetry. For instance: I am a very visual person and I never know going into a poem what I am going to write. I wait until I see something that sparks a first line. Once I have my first line I am off and running.

Doug Holder: Your book "bathe in it or sleep" was published by the Main St. Press--a well-regarded small press. How has your experience been with the small presses?

Kim Triedman: My experience has been very limited. I submitted a chapbook manuscript to a competition. By virtue of winning I had a book published. M. Scott Douglass put it out. he wears many hats--but it came out nicely. I was very happy with it.

Doug Holder: This was your first submission to a contest and you won. You did not have to go through the travails of a long-suffering poet waiting to get his book published.

Kim Triedman: For whatever reason my poetry seems to be well-recieved by many people.

Doug Holder: Have you been a member of a workshop?

Kim: When I finished my novel I started dabbling in poetry. I came across a brochure for the Lesley University Seminar Courses. I took three classes with one instructor and there was a core of five or six women. After the class we continued to meet. We are still going strong. So much of your own editing depends on hearing yourself.

Doug Holder: In your poem "Think of it this way":

Think of it this way:

Between the past and the future
stands a house. It’s tidy
and white, nearly ready

to explode. The terror, you see, the
weight of such a thing:
neither here nor there, like words

withheld, or the hand
that meant to stroke.
Even in a strong wind leaves

can double-back, and
seagulls hang, frozen in sky.
We sit,

burning in silence:
eyes forward -
remembering nothing.

I get a sense of terror behind the banal--the well-ordered surface of things of a suburban house. Are you a poet that is looking for trouble?

Kim Triedman: I wouldn't put it that way. I am not looking for it, but I do see it. I think there is a bittersweet quality to what I write. I try to see the dark underside of things. This time of year ( Autumn) brings it out in spades. I'm very affected by the silence, and the sadness underneath the visceral light.

Doug Holder/Ibbetson Update/ Nov. 2009

1 comment:

  1. Susan Tepper3:31 PM

    Such a beautiful poem...