Poet Ange Mlinko has been praised by The New Yorker for writing “intoxicating, cerebral poems [that] display a unique sense of humor and mystery.” She recently caught up with FSG’s Christopher Richards to discuss storytelling, advice for young poets, and just why aging for a poet is like tuberculosis for Keats. Her new collection, Marvelous Things Overheard, is now available. Christopher Richards: Marvelous Things Overheard feels like a journey through worlds real and unreal. How do you think migration informed these poems? I'm thinking particularly of your background as the child of immigrant parents, and your time living abroad in places like Morocco and Beirut. Ange Mlinko: What I'm really after is—to borrow Guy Davenport's phrase—a geography of the imagination. It's almost a reaction against all this migration—I'm compelled to subsume my autobiography (my parents' immigration to Brazil, then the U.S., after WWII; my travels abroad) within structures. Baudelaire called the poets our lighthouses, mapping this geography for us. Now, I know many modern poets have an allergy to classical references. But these aren't merely references. They're knowledge. For one thing, they provide an account for our relationship with the elemental world. For another, they give depth and resonance to our conception of time. You can't read the works of the past—Keats, Shakespeare et al.—without this knowledge. And if you can't imagine the past, if you have no entree to it, your imagination withers. And your pride groweth.