Hannah Sullivan Reads “You, Very Young in New York”

PROJECTS

NOTHING HAPPENS

Hannah Sullivan reads from Three Poems
Hannah Sullivan Three Poems

Hannah Sullivan’s debut collection, Three Poems, which won the 2018 T. S. Eliot Prize, reinvents the long poem for a digital age.  Sullivan reads the opening poem, “You, Very Young in New York,” below.

 

Video credit: Faber & Faber. Used with permission.

Hannah Sullivan describes the poem in an interview with Ralf Webb for the Los Angeles Review of Books:

“With ‘You, Very Young in New York, I didn’t sit down and think, ‘I want to write a long poem about New York.’ I had written a few fragments, and then I worked a lot on my academic book about The Waste Land, where I was making an argument in favor of the original draft rather than the final version. I was struck by this idea that Eliot’s original ambition, before Pound changed the poem into a much more elliptical piece of work, was to look at contemporary London through a series of different historical and formal modes. The idea of essentially erasing the subject by offering a series of different vantage points of the same phenomenon captivated my attention. So, I thought, I want to write about New York, I have these experiences that are very clear in my mind, what would be gained if I used some different forms to write about it? In the poem, the material that allows for a more satirical take on the city was only generated because I thought, ‘Maybe I’ll try and write something in rhyming couplets.’ Once you start writing in rhyming couplets, a different tone of voice comes in.”

Hannah Sullivan Three Poems

THREE POEMS
Hannah Sullivan

January Poetry

“Hannah Sullivan’s majestic debut offers three big pictures―birth, coming of age and death―but this isn’t a triptych. Instead, these themes extend across the book, with the poems acting as a set of transparencies that enlarge and complicate one another . . . Her authority, reach and ambition are exhilarating. Her metaphorical scope is that of the internet.”
―Lavinia Greenlaw, London Review of Books

Farrar, Straus and Giroux is widely recognized as one of today's most influential publishers of literary fiction and poetry. FSG is renowned for its international list of authors, who have won extraordinary acclaim over the years, including numerous National Book Awards, Pulitzer Prizes, and twenty-two Nobel Prizes in literature. Dare to Imagine is a year-long celebration of fiction and poetry.
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