Ronald Donn

“I moved to North Louisiana in 1991 to study the Bible—and ended up by 1998 getting a MA in Creative Writing instead. In that period, I got Nabokov’s referential mania, where everything is a sign. I found out reference is a matter of history, and that history destroys the individual who wants to be part of it. But the South doesn’t know that. In the South, everything’s a miracle. Everything’s about God, is God, and that includes the most innocuous word. There’s no privacy. People don’t stop talking, even with their mouths closed. Poetry is way of seeking privacy from God. Having grown up in a tropical, buzzing climate, I’ve long been fascinated with Glen Gould’s version of a personal Arctic, an Idea of North—the solitude that is itself the Question that compels the imagination to reach toward an Answer. Like Melville’s white whale of atheism, the results of Christianity for me have been this so far: language works as a reflex in response to a staggeringly limitless, anarchic set of meanings implied by the natural world. If language is the imagination’s reaching for the truth, then language and the soul are equivalents.”      E-mail: Ronald Donn.