How does your work first enter the world? Do you have a social group or writers group that you work ideas and poems with?
As I mentioned in the first question of this series, I turned to poetry out of necessity and part of that necessity was to capture the present moment quickly and effectively. As a result, most of my poems enter the world via an image that strummed a chord somewhere deep inside me. I may not know exactly what that chord is in the moment I jot down what I am experiencing, but that’s what revision is for I suppose. In this way, a poem can stem from something as loaded as seeing a dead bald eagle beside the highway or something as simple as coming back home and seeing a book I was reading had fallen onto the floor while I was gone. I love giving meaning to the commonplace, and poetry lets me do that. I don’t usually share my earliest ideas; they seem too raw, and I worry about losing some of that rawness too soon when people start chiming in with their ideas or interpretations. But once I have a draft that I feel good about, I definitely have a group of readers I turn to for feedback before going back to revise. These tireless supporters are my mother, Sarah Suzor, Nina Welch, the recently interviewed Jill Mceldowney, Caroline Chavatel, Brooke Sahni, and Richard Greenfield, and I really don’t know what I would do without them. They know how to tell me something is not working in the nicest way possible (well, most of them!), and that means the world to me.