Jacob Bachinger

Featured:  September 15, 2023

Author of Earth-Cool, and Dirty

  • Who are your influences?

    The question of influences can be tricky and uncomfortable. Perhaps because influences suggest a kind of debt that can't be repaid?  Instead of influences, maybe we should talk of teachers instead?  One of my best teachers is William Carlos Williams.  I address him in one poem called "For Dr. Williams," which is somewhat epistolary in its delivery: "You wrote, I'm told,/ on prescription pads,/ a medicinal gesture. / Like nitro, poems//release the heart."
  • Describe your artistic style.

    I'm particularly concerned with precision and economy, but I don't consider myself a minimalist because I believe poetry also requires exuberance.  I aim to evoke this quality of precise exuberance in one piece  simply called "Poems": "When the mountainside hermit/ executes the perfect brushstroke and the paint is/ crow, flapping erratically from the page."
  • In your free time, what do you like to do?

    I believe Samuel Beckett was once asked a variation of that question, and his answer went something like: "sit on my arse, fart, and think of Dante."  That seems like a fine way to spend a few idle hours. 
  • What advice would you give aspiring artists?

    This is advice other writers have given to  me, so I'll pass it along: when it comes to your writing, take your time and don't be in a hurry.  For instance, when you finish a poem, set it aside for a month before showing it to anyone or sending it out for publication.  Chances are, after 30 days, you'll look at the poem and immediately see ways of strengthening it.  Repeat that process until the poem is imbued with a kind of hard-won toughness.