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Mary Karr and Christopher Robinson briefly discuss Terrence Hayes’s poem “Talk.”

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Christopher Robinson's debut novel, War of the Encyclopaedists, co-authored with Gavin Kovite, will be published by Scribner in 2015. You can find his work in The Missouri Review, Alaska Quarterly Review, Southern Review, Kenyon Review, Nimrod, McSweeney’s Online, and elsewhere. He is a recipient of fellowships from the MacDowell Colony, the Millay Colony, Bread Loaf, and the Djerassi Resident Artist program. He has been a finalist for numerous prizes, including the Ruth Lilly Fellowship and the Yale Younger Poets Prize.

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  • mj December 20, 2010, 12:49 am

    It is very interesting how the poems themselves are extending beyond the two conversationalists and censorship and causing both the criticism to develop a life of its own. In a previous segment discussing a Heather McHugh poem, it was decided to bleep the word cunt. And it was bleeped until the final instance where it wasn’t. This was likely because it was following the course of the poem and by the end it was no longer a dirty word (or something). Although maybe it was just a mistake, as the narrator of McHugh’s poem never felt the word was dirty. It was bleeped though, because our two hosts did not want to offend anyone.

    Here, however, the word nigger is not bleeped. I found that interesting. I was not offended, but I found it interesting. I mean I can gather many reasons as to why, rather, I’d like to enjoy the fact that a sudden comfort with the word now exists where it (in how these segments deal with the word in juxtaposition to other words appearing in the segments) no longer seems primed to offend.

    I liked both poems, none the less.

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