Q&A with Andrei Codrescu

From the Chronicle Review’s PageView blog:

In a Louisiana classroom, a charismatic middle-aged Romanian-born writer conducts an “Introduction to Poetry Writing” seminar. It’s the first session of the semester, and he wants to assign each student a ghost-companion—a “poet you will study all semester, read deeply, understand well, Google till you’re satisfied, and call on when you feel some difficulty.”

As he goes through this three-hour Sorting Hat exercise, the professor sometimes feels great waves of tenderness for his students’ youth, intelligence, and promise. But those warm sentiments are accompanied by alienation and near-disgust: Who are these callow lazy over-wired 18-year-olds who barely seem to know what World War II was about?

During the course of the class, the professor frets about his inability to operate a CD player, much less an iPod. He scornfully meditates on the university’s emergency-text-alert system, which seems unlikely to do anyone much good in a real crisis.

Also, there are feelings of lust.

Many of you will have recognized that we’re in the world of Andrei Codrescu, who retired last year after 25 years as an English professor at Louisiana State University at Baton Rouge.

Click over to read a Q&A between Andrei Codrescu and The Chronicle Review’s David Glenn on the subject of his new book The Poetry Lesson.