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Tony Trigilio interviewed on 2paragraphs

 

Author Tony Trigilio On ‘Inside the Walls of My Own House’

Inside the Walls of My Own House Dark Shadows

Tony Trigilio is the author of Inside the Walls of My Own House: The Complete Dark Shadows (of My Childhood), Book 2. A poet and scholar, Trigilio has also written about other poets in his books Allen Ginsberg’s Buddhist Poetics (2007) and “Strange Prophecies Anew”: Rereading Apocalypse in Blake, H.D., and Ginsberg (2000)

2paragraphs: Why do you think Inside the Walls of My Own House: The Complete Dark Shadows (of My Childhood) is connecting with readers?

Tony Trigilio: I think the book is connecting with people for a couple different reasons. First, nearly everyone can relate to how pop culture—especially television—shapes intimate experiences with our loved ones. We’re never just passively watching with others. Instead, we’re sharing what we view. In this way, a TV show can be an intimate social occasion rather than just a visual product we consume in isolation. I should say a bit more about the background of the book before I go further. This is the second book of a multivolume poem. I intend to watch all 1,225 episodes of the old soap opera Dark Shadows, composing one sentence for each episode and shaping each sentence into verse form. Why Dark Shadows? In the first months and years of my life, I watched Dark Shadows every day with my mother, a devoted soap fan. I hardly understood what was going on—but I was certain the soap opera’s main character, the vampire Barnabas Collins, lived inside the walls of my own house, waiting for me to go to sleep so that he could bite my neck. This book has given me the space to write about memory in ways that none of my other books have. The reason for this, I think, is that the original experiences of watching the show with my mother were so intimate that they became anchors in my mind that other memories attached themselves to. Readers often tell me that this project reminds them of shows they shared with close family members. In our age of binge-watching, I’ve heard from a number of folks who’ve said my book has triggered in them a desire to write autobiographical material through the episode-by-episode lens of the favorite TV shows of their youth. I’d love to see more poems like this from others (and I’m sure these poems would affect my ongoing project, too).

Read the whole interview here:

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Inside the Walls of My Own House: The Complete Dark Shadows (of My Childhood) Book 2 by Tony Trigilio reviewed!!

 

Watching in the Dark: Puncture Wounds Left by DARK SHADOWS

trigilio2-cov-lg

Inside the Walls of My Own House: The Complete Dark Shadows (of My Childhood), Book 2, by Tony Trigilio. Buffalo, New York: BlazeVOX books, October 2016. 152 pages. $16.00, paper.

 

Inside the Walls of My Own House

Every shadowy story should invoke the uncanny. Tony Trigilio keeps dreaming (and writing) of his uncanny space, at home with his mother in front of the television screen. Space and time billow and unfold as he remembers watching Dark Shadowsand being transported to gothic Maine:

an electronic portal opened unto
the spirit world, a supernatural

transmitter documenting the undead
life of the 208-year-old creature who

lived inside the walls of my own house;
I took for granted that our TV functioned

as a conduit for a “two-directional exchange
between occultism and technology,” as media

scholar Stefan Andriopoulos describes
the earliest precursors of the television:

19th-century optical devices designed
for remote viewing and clairvoyance,

leading many early 20th-century viewers to
believe that to watch TV was to experience

“the uncanny occurrence of the supernatural
or marvelous in one’s own living room”—

This is a hybrid, vampire text. A hallucination. A story told through the red haze of a fantastical curse. It grows more complex as time stretches, changes, and is infused with information about the show, the past, and the present-day state of the world.

Collinwood becomes an extension of Trigilio’s childhood home. The characters appear like family members with terrible secrets watched from afar. Every detail of the house and the characters is remembered, re-viewed, and obsessed over.

The book begins midway through the show’s run. Previous episodes are sometimes mentioned, but it is not necessary to have read the first book or seen the first episodes of Dark Shadows to immediately become hooked on the story of the Collins family, by way of Trigilio’s childhood fascination.

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Tony Trigilio and the Page 99 test on Heavy Feather

 

The Page 99 Test: Tony Trigilio & INSIDE THE WALLS OF MY OWN HOUSE: THE COMPLETE DARK SHADOWS (OF MY CHILDHOOD), BOOK 2

The Page 99 Test: Tony Trigilio & Inside the Walls of My Own House:
The Complete Dark Shadows (of My Childhood), Book 2

“Open the book to page ninety-nine and read, and the quality of the whole will be revealed to you.” ―Ford Madox Ford

Page ninety-nine opens the final section of my new book, Inside the Walls of My Own House: The Complete Dark Shadows (of My Childhood), Book 2. This page is a key pivot point for all that has come before and all that will follow in the book’s final fifty pages.

“I plan to call Book 2 of this poem / Inside the Walls of My Own House,” I write on page ninety-nine, “but it’s become The Book of Violence.” Even though The Book of Violence wouldn’t have been the most elegant title, it’s an accurate reflection of the book’s conceptual framework, and this discarded title is central to the volume as a whole.

At this point in the book, page ninety-nine, one of the central principles of the project becomes clearer: the imagination, even in its most powerful form as empathy, can’t easily undo the violence that gestates at its foundation.

First, some background. This is the second book of a multivolume experiment in autobiography. I’m trigilio2-cov-lgwatching all 1,225 episodes of the old vampire soap opera, Dark Shadows, originally broadcast on ABC TV from 1966-1971, and writing one sentence in response to each episode. I shape each sentence into verse. This book, like the first volume, is composed entirely in couplets (Book 3, in progress, is a poetry/prose hybrid).

Each episode functions as a potential trigger for the book’s autobiographical excavations. Proust had his madeleine; I have Barnabas Collins, the show’s main character, a two-centuries-old vampire who haunted my nightmares as a child.

Read the whole piece here 

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Tony Trigilio interviewed on Best American Poetry Blog

 

"Eleven Questions for Eleven Poets" Part 1 of the Best American Poetry blog interview! 



Alan Michael Parker interviewed Tony Trigilio
 and 10 other poets (Elizabeth Colen, Carolina Ebeid, Dana Levin, Max Ritvo, David Rivard, Chris Santiago, Lee Sharkey, Clint Smith, Megan Snyder-Camp, and Monica Youn). Everyone talks about their new books coming out this fall.
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The Complete Dark Shadows (of My Childhood) by Tony Trigilio Reviewed at Rain Taxi

 

THE COMPLETE DARK SHADOWS (OF MY CHILDHOOD)

Tony Trigilio
BlazeVOX Books ($16)

complete dark shadowsThis is the first book in a projected multi-volume poem about the eponymous gothic soap opera, which author Tony Trigilio watched as a young child. The show “nurtured and sustained” the poet’s inner life before he could speak, and the “primal sensations” associated with these pre-lingual experiences make them ripe for poetic exploration. At its weakest, the poem dwells too much on the show’s stilted acting and unplanned calamities (which seem to define Dark Shadows as much as scripted events), lapsing into rote summary and striking a tone of ironic adult detachment that gets in the way of the book’s purported mission of “excavating childhood night terrors.” Thankfully, these moments are fairly few, and Trigilio skillfully incorporates his personal history into his exegesis of the series—a sort of autobiography by way of discussing the show. The reader empathizes with the poet’s childhood self as he discloses obsessions and family tragedies, uncovering nuggets of real horror and intense emotion in dozens of episodes of absurd storylines and histrionic dialogue. Overall, The Complete Dark Shadows (of My Childhood) feels meditative, organic, and weighty far beyond what one would anticipate from a poem about a blooper-ridden ’60s TV show.

2015 Really Short Review. Return to Really Short Reviews

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