The Writing Life: Roland Flint interviews W.S. Merwin
Poet Roland Flint speaks with W.S. Merwin, who is now finishing up his two-year term as the nation’s poet laureate. Though honors (a Pulitzer, Bollingen, etc.) have come his way more frequently than riches, shortly before this taping in 1994 Merwin became the first Master American poet to receive a $100,000 Tanning Prize. In Hawaii, he alternates between literary pursuits and the work of restoring ruined agricultural land. Whether planting trees or tending endangered species, concern for the environment permeates all Merwin’s writings – prose, poetry or translation. Merwin sits casually in his blue jeans, and talks of the environment and villanelles. He reads five poems from The Rain in the Trees (“Late Spring,” “West Wall” and “The Solstice”) and two from his latest volume, Travels, (“Witness” and “Place”).