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This interview is taken from PN Review 146, Volume 28 Number 6, July - August 2002.

in conversation with Evelyn Schlag Beverley Driver Eddy

Evelyn Schlag was born and raised in Waidhofen an der Ybbs in Lower Austria. She studied German and English literature at the University of Vienna, and taught in Vienna for a time before returning to Waidhofen, where she divides her time between teaching and writing.

Schlag has written seven volumes of prose fiction, a book of essays, a translation of Douglas Dunn's Elegies and four collections of her own poetry. In this interview she talks about her development as an artist and the writers who have influenced her style. The conversation took place on 7 November 2001, during Evelyn Schlag's month-long stay in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, as Dickinson College's Max Kade Writer-in-Residence.

BEVERLEY DRIVER EDDY May I start by asking you what you think poetry can achieve?

EVELYN SCHLAG: I think what I associate with writing has been influenced by the reason why I learned to write. Now, obviously you learn to write because you simply have to. In my case, I was five and pre-school. My parents were in New York for a year. This was 1957. My father was an intern in a hospital and tried to pick up as much about anaesthesiology as possible, because at the time there were no trained anaesthesiologists in Austria. He watched the birth of Caroline Kennedy from the third row. Meantime I was staying with my grandparents in their home; they lived on the first floor, we on the second, so it ...

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