Alexandra Teague Profile

        A profile of Alexandra Teague, and her 10 poem movement, “Transcontinental,” from Willow Springs 71

I’m interested with using a variety of forms to enact different types of construction and historical experience, and this series was fun and challenging in that respect. Some of the poems such as “The Workers” found their form fairly quickly, while others such as “Hell-on-Wheels” took a lot more experimenting with line length and how to use the colons for propulsion. This fascination with form is typical of my work, but I’m using syntax and punctuation here a bit differently than I traditionally have—partly because some of the poets that I’ve been reading recently have helped me rethink the use of, for instance, the colon, and partly because the quotations that I wanted to include suggested certain kinds of moves or connections to me. I’ve found for this manuscript that working from sources can be incredibly generative in terms of the structure of poems, and of course the ideas, and I’m continually amazed by the strangeness of historical fact: that “Roving Delia Fish Dance,” for instance, was the actual wording of a coded telegram from the Union Pacific as they raced the Central Pacific toward the meeting of the two railroads in Utah. As my stepmother, also a writer, is fond of saying: “You can’t make this stuff up.”

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