Ali Alizadeh’s books include a new collection of poems, Towards the End (Giramondo, 2020), a scholarly monograph on Karl Marx’s philosophy, Marx and Art (Rowman & Littlefield, 2019), and the novel The Last Days of Jeanne d’Arc (Giramondo, 2017). He lives in Melbourne and is a Senior Lecturer at Monash University.
Which poets have most influenced you?
A great many performance poets in Brisbane and the Gold Coast in the 1990s. I liked the more poetic singers too. One band whose lyrics I really loved was the Irish grunge band Therapy? – vulgar, emotive, memorable. Dorothy Porter was probably the first published Australian poet I actually enjoyed reading. That led me in the direction of the long poem, Charles Olson, H.D., etc.
Are poems chiefly inspired or crafted?
What a question! If I have to pick one, I would say inspired, if only because inspiration seems more necessary. Without it – an initiation, a beginning, no matter how clumsy or hesitant – there would be nothing there to craft.