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5 questions for Richard Krawiec

For Richard Krawiec, love truly is all around. His forthcoming anthology "... and love ..." compiles poems ranging from light-hearted to tragic. Krawiec also explores loss, redemption and transcendence in his poetry collection, "She Hands Me the Razor." Krawiec, who is in a relationship, says platonic and romantic love permeates our lives.

Q. What can readers expect from "... and love ..."?

There are poems that will make them shine with happiness and that are going to catch their breath. There are poems that are going to make them feel sad. It's accessible, some of the stuff is very funny, and it's sophisticated. One of the poems is this incredibly whimsical, open-hearted poem by Fred Chappell where he imagines writing a poem to his wife on the 100th anniversary of their marriage.

Q. What makes "She Hands Me the Razor" a unique book of poetry?

It's about love at the point where people trust you to the extreme. I also did try to structure it like a novel. It begins with young love with that overriding passion and blindness to the reality of life. Then there's betrayal, breakups, and into the external world and internal world of memory. In the third section, the characters come back to love at an older, more mature point in their life.

Q. Why is love so important?

Every day, there is some element of love in your life. Love is abuse, love is lust, love is anger. If you have children, you drop them off at school and you have enough hope that there will be people there who love them enough to keep them safe. If you're in a relationship, every time you're separated, there's almost a breath: What's going to happen when we're apart? Is this love going to last? People love their jobs. They hate their jobs. You can't hate something without also knowing love.

Q. Is any of your work autobiographical?

You're not trying to so much be real as be true. You're trying to get at the truth in a universal fashion, but you're not writing a documentary. You take the things in your life and shape them according to other things you know.

Q. How do you describe love?

The best love, especially in a relationship, is an experience of caring more about the other than about you. There's a deeper joy in committed relationships that you can't get in dating. If it's working well, they accept you unconditionally.

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