Gregory Pardlo

American writer

Gregory Pardlo (born November 24, 1968) is an American poet, writer, and professor.

Pardlo in 2015


  • To me, that always echoes in questions of race, and how I think so much of what we end up calling racism—and it may very well be racism proper—but I am interested in how racism is also just the mindset of ‘I don’t want to be associated with the reviled, with the alien class, I want to keep as much distance as possible from the people who are oppressed.’ And so these questions were on my mind the whole time, and as you say it’s kind of an unfortunate coincidence that they’ve come to a head now, and in the way that they are coming to a head, but it wasn’t intentional.
  • I often start with a question as big and unwieldy as why do we have children – or what are we investing in when we love and raise our children; it’s a process of looking for structures – images or rhetorical figures – that will contain my questions.
  • I’m interested in coaching, modeling, and teaching various writing practices and less in discovering talent. I want students to develop their own unique writing practices rather than impose my aesthetic values from the top down…
  • I don’t think it’s a responsibility, but I certainly think it’s something poetry can do, and I think that poetry has a unique ability to do it because of its self-referential nature and its self-conscious nature. And I mean that in the sense that, in prose, we’re not often as conscious of the language and the operation of language itself. Our focus in on the content, on what is denotatively produced. In poetry we are trained, or at least readers of poetry are trained, to attend to or account for the structures of language as well as what that language conveys.
  • And I think for any kid, you know, looking up to - any boy, certainly, looking up to his father - and, you know, I'm granting that there are some aspects of masculinity that I'm not entirely down with anymore, you know, as an adult, but as a kid, I bought into the narratives of masculinity very much.…

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