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One Mask at a Time: An Interview with Stephen Dunn

Stephen Dunn is a powerhouse of a poet. He is the author of 18 volumes of poetry and two essay collections, including the recently published Degrees of Fidelity (Tiger Bark Press). His 2000 collection, Different Hours, won the Pulitzer Prize and an Academy Award for Literature, and his 1996 collection Loosestrife was a finalist for the National Book Critics Award. A Distinguished Professor Emeritus at Stockton University, he has written his own eulogy — twice.

In his poetry, Dunn blends creative fancy with accessible, impeccably timed verse. Billy Collins has written about his work: “The art lies in hiding the art, Horace tells us, and Stephen Dunn has proven himself a master of concealment.” In “Mon Semblable,” Dunn writes, “Though I know it’s unfair, / I reveal myself / one mask at a time” — an assertion that sets a high bar for any interview.

Interview with Pulitzer Prize winning poet, Stephen Dunn. We discuss poetry, politics, and getting older as he looks back at the eulogy he wrote himself over ten years ago. Published in the Los Angeles Review of Books, January 2019. Read entire interview.