Vintage DB 86: Kay Ryan’s “Things Shouldn’t Be So Hard,” DB 11
Back in 2010, Drunken Boat was honored with the opportunity to feature several poems crafted by U.S. Poet Laureate and Pulitzer Prize winner, Kay Ryan, as well as an in-depth interview about her writing process. While our journal is a showcase for many talented artists, today we hope you’ll go back and reexamine the work of one who has proven herself particularly special. Of Ryan’s six poems that appeared in DB 11 — all of which you should definitely read — the poignant “Things Shouldn’t Be So Hard,” has been selected as today’s vintage choice.
“A life should leave
ruts where she
went out and back
to get the mail
or move the hose
around the yard…”
Kay Ryan has published seven books of poetry since 1983 and has since gone from a beginning writer to an acclaimed with a distinguished style. Ryan’s awards include a National Humanities Medal, a Guggenheim Fellowship, three Pushcart Prizes as well as so many others. In 2011 she was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry for The Best of It: New and Selected Poems (Grove Press, 2010). Her poems and essays have appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Poetry, The Yale Review, Paris Review, The American Scholar, The Threepenny Review, Parnassus, among other journals and anthologies. She was named to the “It List” by Entertainment Weekly and one of her poems has been permanently installed at New York’s Central Park Zoo. Ryan was elected a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets in 2006. In 2008, Ryan was appointed the Library of Congress’s sixteenth Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry.