Poets Online Talking About Coffee: Andrea Cohen

How does your coffee drinking differ from that of your parents?

My mom had to stop drinking coffee when she died. I still drink it. Strong.

How does Furs Not Mine differ from your previous books?

I am not good at talking about my own poems. The poems are better I hope at speaking for themselves.

Some of the poems in Furs Not Mine have to do with my mom, with her death. Which is another way of saying the effect an absence of a life has on us. Some of the poems come out of other wondering, other questions, other attempts at connection/making sense. When I start a poem, I never know where it’s going. And that has only become more true the more I write.

Did your mom comment on your poetry?

The short answer: yes.

The slightly longer, convoluted answer: my mother was strong, smart, loving, generous, engaged, evolving, unsuffering of fools, wise, beautiful, imperfect.

All qualities I seek out in people.

And in poems.

My mom’s counsel was that I could do whatever I set my mind to. I’m not sure that’s true, but a young poet must believe it or face certain doom.

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