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After a year of conversation about poets and poetry, The Gift poetry series Producer Stanzi Vaubel recorded Rachel Jamison Webster reading from her book, September, and decided to produce this piece not as a conversation but as a direct drop into the poems. “I Know Why I Make the Past a Destination,” Rachel begins , reminding us of the mystery of time—how sometimes we can “almost, but not quite, remember the future,” how we can live days that feel layered with earlier lives, earlier selves. It makes us think about presence, how presence is a kind of fullness of time that suggests the future and past even as it remakes them.
Rachel Jamison Webster curator of this series, The Gift, is Artist in Residence at Northwestern University. Her poems and essays have been published in many journals and anthologies, including Poetry, The Paris Review and The Southern Review. Her book of poems, September, was just published by Northwestern University Press.