The Virtual Memories Show is a weekly podcast about books and life . . . not necessarily in that order!
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Rachel Hadas

Virtual Memories #153

"It's like Forster said, there's a sense that the great poets are sitting at a table, synchronically all writing at the same time."
-- Rachel Hadas

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This week's show: Poet Rachel Hadas returns to The Virtual Memories Show to talk about her new books, Talking To The Dead (Spuyten Duyvil Press), and Questions in the Vestibule (Northwestern University Press). It's been two years since we last talked (over here), so I had plenty of questions for her. How did she rebuild her life after losing her husband to early onset dementia? How did she wind up pals with James Merrill (and what's her take on his Ouija poems)? What do we lose and gain in the act of translation? And how did she become a love poet after spending her career writing elegies? Give it a listen!

"I've never felt so happy, but I've never felt so mortal."

You can check out this episode of the Virtual Memories podcast, featuring Rachel Hadas, via

Next week: Kriota Willberg joins the show to talk about saving cartoonists from becoming physically crippled (they're already emotionally crippled).

The Virtual Memories Show is a weekly podcast featuring conversation about literature, culture, politics and the arts. Upcoming guests include Sarah Bakewell, Sven Birkerts, Mary Beard, Glenn Head, and Simon Critchley! Check out the past and upcoming guest-list at our archive!

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Gil Roth
Virtual Memories

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About Our Guest

Rachel Hadas's book of selected prose pieces, Talking To The Dead, was published by Spuyten Duyvil Press in 2015. Her new book of poems, Questions in the Vestibule, is forthcoming (April 2016) from Northwestern University Press, which will also publish her verse translations of Euripides' dramas Iphigenia in Aulis and Iphigenia Among the Taurians. The author of a score of books of poetry, essays, and translations, Hadas is Board of Governors Professor of English at Rutgers University-Newark. She and her husband, artist Shalom Gorewitz, have been working on marrying poetry and video; some of their collaborative work, including a piece about James Merrill, can be seen at She previously appeared on The Virtual Memories Show in January 2014.

Photos of Rachel by Shalom Gorewitz.

About Our Host

Gil Roth is the host of The Virtual Memories Show, a podcast about books and life, not necessarily in that order. He's been blogging at Virtual Memories since 2003, and keeps a list of every book he's finished reading since 1989. He will ride this as far as his imposter syndrome will take him.

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