The Art of the Word: Patty Larkin Interviewed by Yvonne Conza
On writing music to the poems of Nick Flynn, Marie Howe, Natalie Diaz, and others.
Bird in a Cage (2020), the latest addition to Patty Larkin’s three-decade, thirteen-album career, is crafted from ten poems by Nick Flynn, Marie Howe, Natalie Diaz, Kelle Groom, Stanley Kunitz, Robert Pinsky, May Sarton, Kay Ryan, William Carlos Williams, and Billy Collins. Larkin, a guitar-driven singer-songwriter, writes intensely visual lyrics that are rich in intricate wordplay. Five of her songs have been paired with film and television soundtracks, such as “Good Thing,” which appeared in Columbia Pictures’s Random Hearts. Fellow musician Mary Chapin Carpenter describes Larkin’s singular sound as “gorgeous, moving, provocative, of-the-world,” adding that her guitar playing is “badass.”
Photo by Deidre Portney. Courtesy of SRO Artists, Inc.
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