Vahni Capildeo on the impossibility of herding readers (Poetry Spotlight)

Poetry Spotlight: I wonder if you could tell us a bit more about the process of reaching the final order of the book, and how important do you feel the ordering of poems is to how a reader experiences a collection?

Vahni Capildeo: Readers are not to be herded. Even with the best-behaved, most imposing novels, readers will disrespect the chapter order, fall asleep and read things several times over, stop and start again at the wrong place, look at the ending first, somehow randomize the experience.

With Measures of Expatriation, I think I have prepared meaningful surprises for people who are willing to track the indicated paths, but who is to say if or how that would work?

Vahni Capildeo interview, Poetry Spotlight

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