How important is music to your poetry?
Music is a source of sustenance to me in how it’s energizing, comforting, and euphoric. I like to keep up with new releases from my favorite artists and continually learn about older undiscovered albums, and I play guitar myself. I feel my best poems have a cadence that brings momentum and meditative breath. I was a college DJ and indie rock lyrics have definitely influenced my writing and been a model of creativity more concerned with being true than being popular. My book where i come from the fish have souls has a poem called “in allegheny national forest” about walking past oil drilling and logging roads through a flooded stream made by beavers to the purity of a place “where cars don’t go.” Arcade Fire sings about a similar place on ‘Neon Bible,’ and that song was in my head as I was writing about that scene. Lately I find myself drawn mostly to folk, blues, and soul music; some of my favorites include: Elizabeth Cotten, Fruit Bats, Greg Brown, D’Angelo, Jeremy Dutcher, Rhiannon Giddens, Valerie June, Los Lobos, JS Ondara, Gregory Porter, Ranky Tanky, Alice Smith, Mavis Staples, Lucinda Williams, and the Wood Brothers.