One Question Interview: Jeff Latosik

23Mar10

Life is short. And there’s a lot I want to talk about, so I’m introducing the one question interview, beginning with poet Jeff Latosik, who launches his first book of poems next month: Tiny, Frantic, Stronger.

Great title, Jeff. What inspired it, and is there a poem with this title or is it simply the title of the collection?

Thanks! Titling a book was much harder than I thought it would be. It was either “Tiny, Frantic, Stronger” or “Fireworks and Fighting,” which I was told was unrepresentative of the work, though it sounded good.

“Tiny, Frantic, Stronger” is cribbed from a line in a poem called “Cockroach Elegy.” The poem deals with the ways that cockroaches are exterminated. I was thinking of cockroaches and small insects and about how something always kind of gets away. I’ve since moved out, but in my school days I lived in a place with cockroaches and they’re hard to get rid of. While incredibly easy to kill on a cockroach-by-cockroach basis, they can stick around, a feat that approaches paradox. I liked that movement of something getting away. That spoke to the rest of the poems somehow. I don’t know how exactly, and it wasn’t always a clean fit, but that image had the key to the city.

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