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Dan O’Brien

25 February 2015 | Email This Post Email This Post | Print This Post Print This Post

The poet and playwright Dan O’Brien discusses his new collection of poems, Scarsdale (CB Editions, 2014), his parents and his estrangement from them, writing poetry, and more, with Joseph Planta.

Scarsdale by Dan O’Brien (CB Editions, 2014).

Click to buy this book from Amazon.ca: Scarsdale

Text of introduction by Joseph Planta:

I am Planta: On the Line, in Vancouver, at TheCommentary.ca.

The poet and playwright Dan O’Brien joins me now. He has a new collection of poetry, Scarsdale. We’ll discuss it, the poems therein, and what they represent of where he grew up, Scarsdale, New York, a suburb just north of Manhattan about 50 kilometres. The poems in this book are evocative, they’re revelatory, they represent the angst that young people encounter in their lives, as well as the attendant desires that come in one’s formative years. The poems in this book revolve around Mr. O’Brien’s family, his parents, his siblings, and the people that were around them in Scarsdale. I’ll get him to tell us about his life there and what these poems mean to him. Dan O’Brien is the distinguished playwright of The Body of An American, which has won numerous awards including the 2013 Edward M. Kennedy Prize for Drama, which incidentally tied with the play on Lyndon Johnson, All the Way. It also received the PEN Center USA Award for Drama, and the Horton Foote Prize. Dan O’Brien was last on for his book, War Reporter, which was a collection of poems about the journalist Paul Watson. He’s got a forthcoming collection of poems about Watson coming out next year. Scarsdale is published in the United Kingdom by CB Editions, with an American edition from Measure Press shortly. The website for more is www.danobrien.org. He joins me from Los Angeles, California. Please welcome back to the Planta: On the Line program, Dan O’Brien; Good morning, Mr. O’Brien.