Interview with 3Po3try Poet Anton Yakovlev

By: Megan DiBello 

Poetry Teachers NYC is happy to have our former student, Anton Yakovlev, perform for the 3Po3try NYC event on 7/31/14. Anton’s work provides a keen insight with his scholarly lens into life, love, and the mystery we all seek to define in our work.

Environment plays heavy in Anton’s writing, with a sense of questioning of his surroundings. The protagonists in his writing are often driven through a bakers window of senses. Anton, as writer, plays the lost ghost trying to give shape to the transparency of human living.

Anton Yakovlev ( grew up in Moscow, Russia, but moved to the United States in 1996. He studied filmmaking and poetry at Harvard University. Anton lives in Ridgewood, NJ and works as a college textbook editor. His poems have appeared in The Rutherford Red Wheelbarrow and are forthcoming in 823 on High and Instigatorzine.

Purchase Tickets Here to see Anton and other 3Po3try NYC Performers!

How intense is the HEAT in your poetry?

Like the warmth of early winter melting the first snow.

What does your poetry build around the reader/listener?

Semi-allegorical cities, mildly dangerous chapels, previously-unnoticed one-way mirrors.

What do you fill the room with when you perform?

A three-orchestra symphony, nostalgic perfumes, and hopefully a few ghosts.

If  your poetry was a body of water, what/where would it be?  Why?

Fleuve Saint-Laurent as it rushes past Montreal, because it moves too rapidly to accumulate shore flies.

If your poetry was a meal, what is it and how is it prepared?

Sushi (raw but carefully arranged). Grouper with crab fries. Blueberries. Swiss buttercream cupcakes.

If you could tattoo a word to your body, what would it be and why?


What leads you to the presentation of your words?

Whatever lets me get around the place’s resident Exterminating Angel.

How does space play a part in how you write/read?

Before I can really write anything, I need a fairly good sense of the location where the events are occurring. Most of my poems take place in everyday places I know—the two parallel Service Roads at the Boston Airport; Brooklyn Bridge Park; Northern Liberties; the Venice of New Jersey.

What are some memorable words a mentor/teacher ever told you?

“Risk sentimentality.” “People read because they want to find out what happens next.” “There’s only one question: ‘Is this interesting?'” “Write from other people’s point of view.” “Look for the traction of live language.” “A poem is not a Rube Goldberg machine—it’s an electric charge that runs down the page.”

If you could retitle any book, what would it be and why?

Any novel by Kurt Vonnegut: “Encyclopedia of the American Soul.”

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