“Mr. Fuller has come to a dead end, and likes it”
[This interview originally appeared in Quid]
I once misintroduced William Fuller as “a banker and a poet.” He corrected me on the spot. Although he has been employed for twenty-seven years by a large Chicago bank (where he is currently the Chief Fiduciary Officer), he has worked there in its old and formidable Trust Department, administering personal trusts for which the bank serves as trustee: “trust officer” is the more accurate term of art, not “banker.” In the same period Fuller has published several books and pamphlets of poetry in the U.S. and U.K., including Sadly and Watchword (both from Flood), Dry Land (Equipage), and Three Replies (Barque). Before working at the bank, he earned a PhD. in English from the University of Virginia, where he wrote a dissertation entitled “Symbols of Thought: Browne, Traherne and the Neoplatonic Tradition in Seventeenth-Century Literature.” He was born in 1953, and is descended from the Puritan Thomas Fuller (himself a poet) who came to Massachusetts in 1638 a few years before the outbreak of the English Civil Wars. Margaret and Buckminster are two other notable nonconforming relations.
We recorded the following conversation in his office in downtown Chicago on a snowy Friday in March 2007. Rather than update it in light of the collapses and stimulations that have since turned all of us into hedge funds, I let it the transmission stand here as is and refer readers to Fuller’s new collection, Hallucination (also from Flood).