This interview with Chickasaw poet Linda Hogan was one of the first that was done for The Gift poetry series. It dropped producers Stanzi Vaubel and Rachel Webster immediately into the depths – into the roots of hunger, where we are connected to life and to the animals. Soon after, these words by philosopher Martha Nussbaum were discovered by them:
“We do not automatically see another human being as spacious and deep, having thoughts, spiritual longings, and emotions. It is all too easy to see another person as just a body which we might just think we can use for our ends, bad or good. It is an achievement to see a soul in that body and this achievement is supported by poetry and the arts which asks us to wonder about the inner world of that shape we see – and too, to wonder about ourselves and our own depths.”
And in this way, Linda Hogan became the embodiment of soul – by sharing so much, by telling stories of dolphins and horses, and by living her belief in each creature’s fullness.
Linda Hogan is Writer in Residence for the Chickasaw Nation and author of several award-winning works of fiction, poetry and non-fiction, including the memoir, The Woman Who Watches Over the World. Here she reads from her book of poetry, The Book of Medicines.
In celebration of National Poetry Month, WBEZ presents The Gift – produced by Stanzi Vaubel and curated by Rachel Jamison Webster, author of September: Poems. This project is a collaboration with UniVerse of Poetry, a station partner that aims to celebrate poets from every nation in the world. Each piece drops us into a poets’ inner life, reminding us of the gift of being human among others.