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An Interview With Poet Hope Snyder

Poet Hope Snyder

This week at the Poetry Blog of 32 Poems Magazine my interview with poet Hope Snyder was posted. She’s a contributor to the magazine and was a delight to interview.  I’m especially impressed with her answer about what writing manuals and workshops have helped her most.

First, let me tantalize you with a bit from the interview, and then you can go on over and check the rest out for yourself.

Without further ado, here’s the interview.

Most writers will read inspirational/how-to manuals, take workshops, or belong to writing groups. Did you subscribe to any of these aids and if so which did you find most helpful? Please feel free to name any “writing” books you enjoyed most (i.e. Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott).

I do not belong to any writing groups, but I have attended workshops at the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, The Gettysburg Review’s Conference for Writers, and the Latino Writers’ Conference in New Mexico. Workshops at Gettysburg and Bread Loaf were helpful. I’ve also taken a couple of workshops with Stanley Plumly at The Writers’ Center in Bethesda. These were very beneficial.

When writing poetry, prose, essays, and other works do you listen to music, do you have a particular playlist for each genre you work in or does the playlist stay the same? What are the top 5 songs on that playlist? If you don’t listen to music while writing, do you have any other routines or habits?

Even though I think I should listen to music while I’m writing, I don’t always do it. That is something I would like to change. I think music can be very helpful while writing. In the past, I’ve listened to classical, Latin American, Spanish, and Italian music. Among my favorites, Beethoven’s 7th symphony, a Spanish singer named Rosana, the sound track for the film “Frida.”

How do you stay fit and healthy as a writer?

I try to walk or engage in some sort of exercise every day. Most days I walk 30 to 40 minutes. This year I joined a gym. I’m seriously considering hiring a personal trainer.

She also included a poem for readers to check out:

In The Changing Light

At first he believed she would be back, and that he would open the door.

In the meantime, he kept his job, adopted a dog without a tail,

soaked in the hot tub, and lounged on the couch they had bought

on sale. “Custom made,” the sales woman had explained

stroking the velvet. In the afternoon light, it shimmered

like silver. After four years, the other woman

has learned to cook rosemary chicken and threatens

to fill his days and his bed. She goes through the house,

gathers sweaters, pictures, and paintings. Now there will be

room for her pills and her make-up. With a drink and Barry White

on the stereo, he rests on the couch in the changing light. In his hand,

the pearl earring he found while re-arranging the cushions last night.

–Published in The Gettysburg Review (Summer, 2009)

About the Poet:

Born in Bogotá, Colombia, Hope Maxwell Snyder received an MA in Latin American Literature from Johns Hopkins and a Ph.D. in Spanish Medieval Literature from the University of Manchester. Her poetry has appeared in Alehouse Press, The Comstock Review, The Gettysburg Review, International Poetry Review, OCHO, Redactions: Poetry & Poetics, and other journals. Hope has been the recipient of scholarships to attend Western Michigan University’s program in Prague, and the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. Hope has also been awarded poetry fellowships for The Gettysburg Review’s Conference for Writers and the Peter Taylor Fellowship in Poetry at The Kenyon Review’s Conference. She is the founder and director of the Sotto Voce Poetry Festival in Shepherdstown, West Virginia.

Please check out the rest of the interview on 32 Poems Blog.