Octavio Paz’s Other Voice: An Imagined Conversation Between Nicole Cooley & Rita Dove


Tough Girl and Rita Dove at The Dodge Poetry Festival.

In order to explicate my concept of the writer’s life and a writer’s relationship to writing, I have created an imagined conversation between Nicole Cooley, author of a book of poetry titled, The Afflicted Girls, and Rita Dove, who also wrote a novelistic collection of poetry called, Sonata Mulattica:

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Are You a Writer, Too?

When Tough Girl, my alter ego, climbed out from the personal protective pod wielding a bag full of electrified wind, she initiated the process of reclaiming the original version of Andrea, “the other voice,” the poetic voice, which Octavio Paz extensively explores during his book The Other Voice. She helped me to gain composure while discovering the essence of who I really am, both a quiet poet and a vivacious activist.

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