Poetry Society of American, October 2017
A poem can be a deeply personal document that also possesses an important social purpose and wide relevance. Poetry Will Save Your Life is unique in recent publishing—a genuine hybrid, part literary discussion, part memoir, written for a general audience.
The Millions, August 17, 2017
Jill Bialosky author of Poetry Will Save Your Life, and Matthew Zapruder, author of Why Poetry, discuss the state of poetry, their own connection to the art, and their shared experiences as poets and editors.
Salon, September 18, 2015
“Any wisdom or acquired knowledge in a work of fiction, a poem or a work of art comes from experience, and being sharply attuned. At the heart, I am a listener and a thinker—an introvert with curiosity. The joy of writing a novel, of making any sort of art, is watching the way in which art can reflect or mirror reality even in abstraction.”
Kenyon Review, Spring 2013
“If the persistence of memory keeps the memoirist and poet in its stronghold to create an authentic work of art, great personal risk must also be at stake to give the work its sense of urgency. Personal risk involves employing dangerous subject matter—what you dare say! The best poems and memoir are born out of risk.”
“It’s incredibly sustaining,” Bialosky told me recently, over coffee on an early fall morning in Manhattan, “to carry on a full-time job and also be a writer. My books build over time. I sometimes work on two or three projects at once, different forms, and this takes the pressure off each project.”
“Fiction and poetry are specific art forms — they require different forms of concentration. In a poem, the concentration is on the line, on word and sound and phrasing and rhythm. Fiction is more free-flowing in its attempt to bring forth a larger narrative, though after I have a draft I look at the language and parts of the narrative fairly closely. I feel lucky to be able to write poetry and prose, because they invigorate each other even though they require different forms of concentration and craft.”
“I want to be the quiet insular writer making my own art and disregarding how it will be perceived and what I can and cannot do to make it so, but I know that ambition, and the desire to be read, partly drives the enterprise. I wanted The Prize to struggle with this conundrum.”
“My hope might be that this book will help open the conversation about suicide and to remove this veil of shame. It's as if the suicide has to pay again for her actions by being silenced. I do think that in our culture, there is difficulty in understanding suicide. I hope that my book will allow people to understand that this act is something that could happen to anyone, and that lot of different circumstances are at play.”
New York Times, September 14, 2015
The Artistry in Jill Bialosky’s Pastry Brush.
Huffinton Post, March 6, 2015
The Players represents an under-appreciated but particularly relatable strain of poetry: The poetry of our daily lives. In its pages, we see our own childhoods, daily domestic experiences, and familial dramas.
The Guardian, February 2, 2015
Jill Bialosky’s younger sister Kim killed herself in 1990. She talks to Joanna Moorhead about trying to make sense of what happened.
Vulture, March 10, 2011
History of a Suicide Author Jill Bialosky on the Struggle to Write a Non-Depressing Grief Memoir.
Interview with Los Angeles Times, February 20, 2011
Finding words to talk about the hush-hush topic of suicide.
Publishers Weekly, December 20, 2010
In History of a Suicide, Norton editor Jill Bialosky reflects on her sister's suicide.
Identity Theory, October 28, 2002
Robert Birnbaum interviews Jill Bialosky: "In baseball terminology you would be referred to as a triple threat: a poet, an editor, and now, a novelist. Why did it take you so long to write a novel?"