Monday, 8 August 2022

Bianca V. Gonzalez : part five

How does a poem begin?

Since I was in elementary school, a poem has always begun as a bodily sensation. I tend to feel it in my calves and arms, this transcendental itch that carries my focus into the mind, and uses my hands to gather words, lines, and thoughts and write them down quickly. It is messy and difficult and can really make a poet cringe. If you’re lucky, you might have the poem completed in your first draft. I live for those poems, I will wait on them for the rest of my life.

Grace Evans : part five

How does a poem begin?

A faint wisp of a whisper. First, a word, then a sentence. Then another, and another, repeating themselves over and over in my mind. Eventually, the words become loud enough for me to finally transcribe them, first onto a page and then onto a screen.

Sunday, 7 August 2022

Jennifer Bartlett : part nine

What other poetry books have you been reading lately?

I feel bad, but I don't read a lot of poetry at this moment. I read Icelandic Mysteries and novels. Just finished Braggi's "the pets." Before that, I read Summer light and then comes the night - my favorite book. 

Saturday, 6 August 2022

Lauren Tess : part three

What do you find most difficult about writing poetry?

What I probably find most difficult is, when sitting down to write, overcoming the thought of the reader and the inhibitions and desire to please that come with that. I also have endless trouble with titles!

Friday, 5 August 2022

Oormila Vijayakrishnan Prahlad : part five

What do you feel poetry can accomplish that other forms can’t?

Poetry can be so many things at the same time - a story, a song, a painting. This protean quality is what distinguishes it from other forms of art. Poetry is also interactive - it is an invitation to the reader to bring a part of themselves into the universe of the poem, to find fragments of themselves in it.  My students often say that analyzing poetry is like solving a puzzle, or looking into a kaleidoscope - where so many levels of meaning and patterns emerge with different readings/turns. I think one of the most fascinating aspects of poetry is how totally unrelated images and concepts can be yoked together, juxtaposed, to forge new links, and create unexpectedly beautiful montages. 

Carla Sarett : part five

What other poetry books have you been reading lately?

—Diane Seuss’s Frank Sonnets, which reads like a noir novel.  I couldn’t put it down.

—Boris Dralyuck’s stylish and confident My Hollywood and Other Poems (Paul Dry Books)   This book also includes some fabulous translations, including poems by Vernon Duke. 

Radio Static (Green Linden Press) by James Hoch, such a moving tribute to a brother who fought in Afghanistan.  

—Polina Barskova’s This Lamentable City, (various translators, including Ilya Kaminsky) (Tupelo Press)— I want more from this highly original poet.  

—returning to Thomas Gunn’s The Man with the Night Sweats.  Gunn’s just a wonder, and I am glad to see other poets “rediscovering” him.  

Ella’s Plan by Jeffrey Bean (Contest Winner, The Poet’s Corner). These enchanting poems about a little girl won my heart. 

Thursday, 4 August 2022

Elizabeth Hazen : part three

What do you find most difficult about writing poetry? 

For me the greatest difficulty has always been taking myself seriously enough to justify the time and effort required to make strong poems. I sometimes feel guilty for spending time writing – it feels like such a privilege – so I need to remind myself that I am doing meaningful work. Then, of course, there is the writing itself, which requires commitment and discipline. Some days it feels impossible, but I keep coming back.