66 minutes | May 23, 2022

Maggie Smith on Despair, Hope, Divorce, and Poetry

Right now, in our society, there is so much to be anxious about. There are many factors that could lead one to feel depressed and defeated. If one already has a tendency toward anxiety and depression, that path can be even shorter. But as a member of that society, one must look for hope anyway. It’s that dynamic relationship between despair and hope that led us to reach out to Maggie Smith. The American poet Maggie Smith, not the British actor Maggie Smith.

Maggie is the author of several volumes of poetry and her work has appeared in the New Yorker, the Paris Review, the New York Times, and the Best American Poetry anthology. She became very well known in 2016 when her poem “Good Bones”, about the bleakness of the present and the possibility of a better future, became a viral hit.

In this interview, she talks about her anxious childhood, the pessimism people knew her for as an adult, a divorce that changed her significantly, and how to unleash your inner weirdness for the benefit of yourself and your writing.

For books, events, and more poems, visit Maggie's website at www.MaggieSmithPoet.com. Follow Maggie on Twitter @maggiesmithpoet.

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Help is available right away.

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255, 1-800-273-TALK

Crisis Text Line: Text HOME to 741741.

International suicide hotline numbers available here: https://www.opencounseling.com/suicide-hotlines

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John's acclaimed memoir, The Hilarious World of Depression, is available here. https://read.macmillan.com/lp/the-hilarious-world-of-depression/

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John is on Twitter @johnmoe.

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