I was recently interviewed by Zoe Gould for Belt Magazine, an online journal of arts & culture in the Rust Belt.
BELT: Your poems do a wonderful job of transforming a city’s decay into beauty without romanticizing the image of America’s failed industrialism. How does The Rusted City set itself apart from other works that exploit or generalize the Rust Belt experience?
Hurt: I felt it was important to write about a Rust Belt city without glorifying urban ruin or falling into nostalgia for the good old days of industry. I was born into decline, so those days were never a part of my life. In the book, I wanted to imagine a world in a miraculous return to the past wasn’t even an option — a world already made from the rust . . . The metaphoric mergers between the characters and the city’s decay prevent the Rust Belt setting from being reduced to a romantic or dramatic backdrop; these characters are their city.
The entire interview can be read here.