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Reading poems from The Great Fires, some of them in earlier versions, Jack Gilbert looks back on the loves and solitudes of a life lived acutely, seen in terms of the Pittsburgh steel mills where he worked as a youth: “Eighth-of-an-inch gauge isn’t much of a life. But you get some giant mill, or shear, that will shear three-quarter-inch steel, that’s big. That’s a powerful machine.”

Interviewer: Henry Lyman

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