One Question Interview: Steve McOrmond

09Jun10

Steve McOrmond has written three books of poems, most recently The Good News about Armageddon.

To what extent is your book inspired by larger trends like climate change, and to what extent is it more personal observation?

The Good News about Armageddon is informed by trends and dire predictions about ecological and socioeconomic collapse, by collective anxieties about the end of the world. In these poems, apocalypse comes in different shapes and sizes from the little whimper to the big bang. The book considers the possibility that we may already be riding the crests and troughs of what James Howard Kunstler calls The Long Emergency, a rolling, decades-long societal collapse.

Most of us are able to hold our fears about the end of the world at arm’s length and go about our business. The narrator of the long title poem experiences a kind of breakdown. His filter is damaged and he is no longer capable of distancing himself from the chaos of current events. Personal and political collide, as do different types of narratives from supermarket tabloids to religious tracts. The poems jump around a lot. The voice is erratic—by turns bitter, querulous, self-reflexive, dejected, ecstatic, profane, prophetic, aphoristic, hectoring.

How can we go on living in a manner that we know cannot be sustained, against a backdrop of oil spills, melting glaciers, extinctions, doom tourism and all the rest? We’re a marvelously resilient species: we get used to things. It may be a mixed blessing. The future will hold us to account. The last poem in the book puts it this way:

And to those who claim it couldn’t be stopped:

At every point along its path, the arrow is still.

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One Response to “One Question Interview: Steve McOrmond”


  1. 1 Brick Books » One Question Interview: Steve McOrmond – by Alex Boyd: BOYDblog

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