Tuesday, 6 April 2021

Lauren Bender : part one

Lauren Bender is a queer poet living in Burlington, VT with her wife and rudely adorable gray cat. Her work has appeared in IDK Magazine, Yes Poetry, Nat. Brut, Rogue Agent, Wine Cellar Press, and others. Her poem “#wife” was nominated for a Pushcart Prize by Pittsburgh Poetry Review. You can find her on twitter @benderpoet.

How do you know when a poem is finished?

I never feel fully committed to the idea that a poem is finished (until, perhaps, the poet is no longer alive?), since it comes from a person, and the person is not finished. I usually see my poems as snapshots of moments in my life, but in (mostly) a more internal sense, like a snapshot of my state of mind at that moment – a particular period of my life, state of wellness, mood, level of talent, body of knowledge, etc. So there is a fixity implied in that (you could say that draft is fixed/finished), but I’m not the same person, looking back at them, and I want to make alterations, to try to integrate those selves with my current self, I suppose. I have often made changes to poems even after submitting them or having them published.

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