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The Mechanical Writer

Both Nicole Cooley’s The Afflicted Girls and Rita Dove’s Sonata Mulattica contain simultaneously subtle and startling conflict, as does all of history. Conflict often represents the spaces where history has dumped the fragments of its mystery. It would be difficult for poetry to convey an imagined history without a conflict, a mystery, as a source of energy.

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

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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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