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More than 200 authors and about 40,000 book fans will descend on the Texas Capitol October 26-27 for the 2013 Texas Book Festival. Throughout the year KUT News speaks with authors about their lives and their work. To celebrate the upcoming festival, we have collected some of those interviews here. From 9-11 to Scientology to the Kennedy assassination, it's a diverse set of works from a fascinating group of authors.

Carrie Fountain and the 'Daring Political Act' of Writing About Motherhood

Larry D. Moore [Creative Commons]
Carrie Fountain at the 2010 Texas Book Festival. "Writing poetry has always been, quite simply, about trying to make sense of the experience of being in the world," she says.

Carrie Fountain is searching for something.

The Austin-based poet recently released "Instant Winner," her second book of poems. In it, she reflects on parenthood and captures vignettes of moments from everyday life.

Fountain will be reading at the Texas Book Festival on Sunday, Oct. 26. She spoke with Texas Standard's Emily Donahue about her book in advance of the festival.

"I think poetry just inherently feels more personal. … A lot of poetry does start with the 'I,' the self, and so it feels very intimate. I think that’s one of the things that draws people to poetry, is that it feels intimate, it feels like a confidence, it feels like you’re being kind of taken in by the poet. That's the kind of poetry that I love."

Title poem "Instant Winner" – named for a kid-friendly game at an Austin-area grocery – "ironically refers to the experience of parenthood," Fountain says. "All of the sudden this happens – the baby is born and everything changes. But at the same time … it is anything but instant. Anything that has to do with parenting is anything but instant."

"I think it's important that women poets and women writers, that we write about the experience of parenthood and motherhood without feeling like it’s something that is light, or …  it's not to be taken seriously as a subject matter for poetry," Fountain continues. "That's just old. … I believe it’s a really daring political act to write about our bodies and our experiences with children."

Listen to Fountain read "Instant Winner:"

Here Fountain reads "Prayer (Impossible):"

Emily Donahue is a former grants writer for KUT. She previously served as news director and helped launch KUT’s news department in 2001.
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