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Interview With Poet Andrea Defoe

I’ve been working on a interview project with Deborah at 32 Poems magazine, and she kindly allowed me to interview past contributors to the magazine. We will be posting the interviews throughout the coming months, and our seventh interview posted on Deborah’s Poetry Blog of 32 Poems on March 10.

I’m going to provide you with a snippet from the interview, but if you want to read the entire interview, I’ll provide you a link for that as well.

Previously published in Rattle:

“FOR A PIANO ABANDONED IN THE BREADBASKET

Perhaps it was too heavy
for the horses to haul it all the way west
or something else just mattered more.
Maybe someone was jealous
of how the girl played it
as if sweet little veeries were flying out her fingertips:
Snow White of the new frontier.
Maybe she hated it, but probably
it was her favorite thing and alone
nights nothing to smother the hollering
silence she rocked herself and thought
of her piano gathering snow, envisioned
the prairie rodents caching their food
between its wires, elk nosing the keys
in a song so random they could only
think of it like thunder. Maybe some Indian
had found it and grasped its beauty, hauled
it home to pay his dowry. But in the best
of these dreams she was sleeping and the piano’s
legs came to life–this didn’t frighten her,
she’d always known her piano was alive–
and worked its sunken heels out of the soil,
began to march then trot in the path
of the last wheels to pass this way
till one wind-rattled night she’d hear
a peculiar tap and find it there in the dark,
waiting for her to make it sing.

For now, let me introduce to you 32 Poems contributor, Andrea Defoe:

1. You are a contributor to 32 Poems, but what else can you tell us about yourself and your writing life? What do you find difficult about your writing practices?

I’m a stay-at-home parent and presently work from a high traffic area of the house, sharing computer time with my husband and three kids. The most difficult aspect for me is finding time to write when there are few distractions (I choose the word “few,” as there is always some). Functioning as a writer with ADHD is challenging for me, as well — particularly when it comes to reading. I have a lot of books that I’ve begun to read, but relatively few that I’ve been able to finish. A great appeal of poetry is that I can pick up a volume of it, open to any page and read a while without that Ugh! Yet another thing I couldn’t finish… feeling.

2. Do you see spoken word, performance, or written poetry as more powerful or powerful in different ways and why? Also, do you believe that writing can be an equalizer to help humanity become more tolerant or collaborative? Why or why not?

My greatest preference is to go somewhere quiet and be alone with a collection. I fixate heavily on individual lines and phrasings — often walking away, returning, and rereading several times before I finally feel ready to appreciate a poem as a whole package. When the poem is simply read to me in a straight stretch, I feel deprived of that — and at times it feels like an imposition, being told how to hear a poem. I’m of the mindset that a poem belongs to its reader. Having said that, some people give fabulous readings that truly do lend a strong voice to their work, so I can’t say this is how it is all of the time.

“Writing” is such an encompassing word. Even if it’s narrowed to mean simply “poetry” I do think the potential for impact is still huge. Elizabeth Alexander’s recent reading at President Obama’s inauguration springs most readily to my mind. The reading itself sapped the luster out of a good poem, but the discussion it inspired, the attention turned to poetry, were positive things.

3. Do you have any obsessions that you would like to share?

I do have an incredibly studly gray cat I call Sir Otter Von Klaus, but I prefer to keep him to myself.

Want to find out what Andrea’s writing space looks like? What music she listens to while she writes? Find out what she’s working on now, her obsessions, and much more. Check out the rest of my interview with Andrea here. Please feel free to comment on the 32 Poems blog and Savvy Verse & Wit.

Poet Bio:

Andrea Defoe lives with her husband, three children and several pets on the Red Cliff Indian Reservation in Wisconsin. Her poems have appeared in various literary journals, most recently Margie, New American Writing, Now Culture and 32 Poems. In addition to writing she enjoys drawing and painting, but is quite bad at both.

***GIVEAWAY REMINDER***

I have two copies up for grabs of Sharon Lathan’s Mr. & Mrs. Darcy: Two Shall Become One; the giveaway is international and the deadline is March 14 at Midnight EST.

I also have two copies of Diana Raab‘s My Muse Undresses Me and one copy of Dear Anaïs: My Life in Poems for You. Deadline is March 18 at 5PM EST.

One gently used ARC of Reading by Lightning by Joan Thomas; Deadline is March 20 at Midnight EST.

Interview With Poet Mary Biddinger

Originally published at La Fovea

MY UPPER PENINSULA
by: Mary Biddinger

We were all suffering from a kind of incandescence.
Would rather fling all the freshly-baked rolls
down the stairs than face the accuser.
I wondered if I was moldering. My mother
didn’t even recognize the ravioli that I edged
with my spinner. I’d filled it with scraps of cloth
anyway. All the girls in my class had hair like Journey
and mouths the slashes of red a wolf leaves behind.
Save me, oh god of direct and swift evacuations.
Some day I would be lecturing a class of students
or getting tangled in the horizontal blinds
in the middle of an emphatic statement. Nobody
there to wield the tin snips. My pack of girls only
a trigger on a night at the county fair, the reek
of funnel cakes scissoring long-sleeve blouses
into the ratty tanks we’d stash in our purses for later.
There was something dangerous under our skin.
I ask my class agai
n to mark up this draft of the globe.
They’ve never been drunk in Nice and vomiting across
multiple electrified rails. In a dream, the double that is more
authentic than the original walks down a street with me.
We stagger in unison. We’ve both had to begin the dessert
again from scratch, not being able to resist a swift punch
to the center of the springform pan. We’d both rather
surrender all of the wooden coins before anyone asks.
Is there anything more exhilarating than a good wait
in damp clothing, or the moment you open your mouth
and realize you know the language after all, you can call
off the dogs or invent the numbers for the payphone,

and the man who shows you to your room won’t leave out
a tour of the aluminum shower down the hall.
He whispers you can both fit in there. He’ll write down
every stranger who leaves a card at the front desk.

I’ve been working on a interview project with Deborah at 32 Poems magazine, and she kindly allowed me to interview past contributors to the magazine. We will be posting the interviews throughout the coming months, and our sixth interview posted on Deborah’s Poetry Blog of 32 Poems on March 3.

I’m going to provide you with a snippet from the interview, but if you want to read the entire interview, I’ll provide you a link for that as well.

For now, let me introduce to you 32 Poems contributor, Mary Biddinger:

1. Not only are you a contributor to 32 Poems, you also founded Barn Owl Review. What “hat” do you find most difficult to wear and why?

As a kid I loved the Dr. Seuss book The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins. Little did I know that it would be a literal representation of my future. I’m a poet, an editor of Barn Owl Review and the Akron Series in Poetry, and a writing program administrator moving into the directorship of a large, consortial MFA program (the Northeast Ohio Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing Program, or NEOMFA). Outside that, I’m a mother and homeowner, a book club facilitator and a photographer of random Rust Belt detritus. I’m a person who rarely knows what day it is, but who plans what to cook for dinner a week in advance.

The only conflict between hats seems to be the administrative hat versus the artistic hat. They don’t want to stay on at the same time. The administrative hat wants to cover up the artistic hat. The artistic hat tells me to lie on the floor of my office and think about poems, while the administrative hat tells me to run down the hall and start ransacking the filing cabinet. Thankfully, the editorial hat doesn’t conflict with any of the other hats. It’s sort of the best of both worlds for me.

2. Poetry is often considered elitist or inaccessible by mainstream readers. Do poets have an obligation to dispel that myth and how do you think it could be accomplished?

I remind my students that poetry predates literacy, and that it belongs to all of us. I’ve found that today’s young people (school-agers) are more open to poetry than they were in the past. I think it’s the convergence of freestyle and academic poetry that creates the rift, though it really doesn’t have to be a rift. I try to keep my own poems out of the realm of the allusive and grounded in the everyday. If you’ve seen rebar before, you can “get it.”

3. How do you stay fit and healthy as a writer?

I work out at the gym about four days a week. I lift weights, run on the treadmill, attack the elliptical. I’m naturally an antsy person, and sitting at a desk doesn’t suit me for long periods of time. Working out gives me some balance. Otherwise, I try to eat healthy all of the time. No sweets, lots of protein, fruit, veg. There were times in my life where I existed only on pasta, and now I avoid it. I have a penchant for Basmati rice.

I used to get sick a lot, but so far 2009 has treated me well. I believe in the power of citrus. I drink too much coffee and diet coke, but hope that my good habits outweigh the bad.

4. What current projects are you working on and would you like to share some details with the readers?

My follow up to Prairie Fever, currently titled Hot Corners, is just starting to circulate to some publishers. This book contains a series of persona poems on a fictional reinvention of Saint Monica, patron of wives in bad marriages, among other things. Hot Corners includes non-Monica poems as well, and you can find poems from the book in current or forthcoming issues of Gulf Coast, Fifth Wednesday Journal, The Laurel Review, Memorious, Ninth Letter, North American Review, /nor, Third Coast, and many other journals.

The poem that’s forthcoming in 32 Poems, “The Velvet Arms,” is part of a new series that explores the urban transient hotel as a locus of everyday desire and transgression. The poems aren’t cemented in any particular timeframe, and slide between the 1940’s rooming house and the contemporary SRO (single room occupancy). I was inspired to write this series thanks to an apartment building I lived in for many years when I was in Chicago. It was an old vaudeville-era hotel, and I kept thinking of how I wasn’t so different from the people who had inhabited it before me. A number of the poems from this series, including “The Velvet Arms,” are written in exactly twenty lines of blank verse.

Beyond that series, which may be more of a chapbook that a book-length collection, I am working on a new manuscript that begins where Hot Corners ends. It’s coming together organically, rather than as a premeditated project. I’m not sure where it will go, but I can promise that there will be dirty snow, trembling baguettes, a terrifying carousel pony, and a watermelon tied up in a tree.

Want to find out what Mary’s writing space looks like? What music she listens to while she writes? Find out what she’s working on now, her obsessions, and much more. Check out the rest of my interview with Mary here. Please feel free to comment on the 32 Poems blog and Savvy Verse & Wit.

Mary Biddinger Bio:

Mary Biddinger was born in Fremont, California, in 1974. She grew up in Illinois and Michigan, and attended the University of Michigan (BA in English and Creative Writing), Bowling Green State University (MFA in poetry), and the University of Illinois at Chicago (Ph.D. in English, Program for Writers). She is currently an Assistant Professor at the University of Akron and NEOMFA: Northeast Ohio Master of Fine Arts program, which she will begin directing in the summer of 2009.

***Current Giveaways for the Carnival are here, here, and here. The Kingmaking has one international ARC available and 3 copies for U.S. and Canada residents (no P.O. Boxes). Drood is U.S. and Canada residents (No. P.O. boxes) only.***

Interview with Poet Barbara Orton

I’ve been working on a interview project with Deborah at 32 Poems magazine, and she kindly allowed me to interview past contributors to the magazine. We will be posting the interviews throughout the coming months, and our fifth interview posted on Deborah’s Poetry Blog of 32 Poems on Feb. 24.

I’m going to provide you with a snippet from the interview, but if you want to read the entire interview, I’ll provide you a link for that as well.

For now, let me introduce to you 32 Poems contributor, Barbara Orton:

1. You are a contributor to 32 Poems. What do you find most challenging about your writing practices and why? Would you have any advice to amateur poets?

Even though I’ve written for publication for 18 years, my writing practice is still erratic. I admire those writers who get up and write for an hour or two every morning, but I’ve never been one of them. In a productive year, I might finish ten or fifteen publishable poems; in a dry year, maybe one or two.

Right now, my biggest challenge is balancing my writing with my academic schedule. A year ago, I moved away from Washington, D.C., where I worked as a freelance editor, to enroll in the PhD program in English at Tufts. I love being a graduate student, but it sucks away my time and energy in a way that editing never did.

My advice to a beginning poet would be to find or create an ongoing writing group, and to take classes whenever you can. The criticism, friendship, and support can be invaluable, and so can the regular deadlines.

2. Do you see spoken word, performance, or written poetry as more powerful or powerful in different ways and why? Also, do you believe that writing can be an equalizer to help humanity become more tolerant or collaborative? Why or why not?

I don’t feel qualified to comment on spoken word or performance poetry because my exposure to it has been limited, and, honestly, what I’ve encountered hasn’t been very much to my taste. I don’t mean to dismiss its value or interest to other people; I just don’t think I can make a judgment on its importance. I do enjoy reading my own poems out loud, though, and listening to other poets read their work.

I’d like to believe that writing can help people become more tolerant, and possibly more collaborative, but I don’t necessarily aspire to that in my own work. I just try to write good poems–emotionally powerful, formally successful, surprising. I love lyric poetry, but I don’t think it’s the genre I’d choose if I were trying to make the world a better place.

3. 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 always write more and better when I’m in a workshop. Over the past few years, I’ve taken classes at the Writer’s Center in Bethesda, Md., and I’m still in touch with the ongoing poetry group that developed out of one of those classes five years ago. I’ve also taken summer workshops at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Massachusetts.

About the Poet:

Barbara J. Orton’s poems appear in four anthologies, The New Young American Poets (Southern Illinois University Press), New Voices (Academy of American Poets), Under the Rock Umbrella (Mercer University Press), and In Our Own Words: A Generation Defining Itself, Volume 7 (MW Enterprises). Her work also appears in journals including Ploughshares, Pleiades, and (most recently) The Yale Review, and in a Web chapbook published by The Literary Review and Web del Sol . She is currently seeking a publisher for her first two book manuscripts, Stealing the Silver and What I Did Instead of Love. She can be reached at [email protected].

Want to find out what Barbara’s writing space looks like? What music she listens to while she writes? Find out what she’s working on now, her obsessions, and much more. Check out the rest of my interview with Barbara here. Please feel free to comment on the 32 Poems blog and Savvy Verse & Wit.

Interview With Poet Alison Stine

I’ve been working on a interview project with Deborah at 32 Poems magazine, and she kindly allowed me to interview past contributors to the magazine. We will be posting the interviews throughout the coming months, and our fourth interview posted on Deborah’s Poetry Blog of 32 Poems on Feb. 23.

I’m going to provide you with a snippet from the interview, but if you want to read the entire interview, I’ll provide you a link for that as well.

For now, let me introduce to you 32 Poems contributor, Alison Stine:

1. Not only are you a contributor to 32 Poems, but you are also a composer and teacher. What “hat” do you find most difficult to wear and why?

And right now I’m a student too! I’ve gone back to school after six years away to pursue my PhD at Ohio University. I love it. Switching back and forth between learning and teaching isn’t as difficult as I had expected because I feel like I’m learning all the time. I feel my students really teach me. They constantly inspire me and surprise me. I learn from them, and I write for them, especially the high school students that I teach in the summer. I want to make them proud and write something they can believe in and relate to. As far as composing, at the moment, my music is very private. It’s still happening. I still write it. But it’s happening only for me. And that’s the hardest right now.

2. 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 did get an MFA in Writing, and I’m in a PhD program now, but the best writing workshops I had were unofficial or off record. Having informal, friendly conversations about the poems really shaped them and made them strong, grow tendrils and vines I never expected. I was fortunate to be a part of two workshops in the summer at the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, and during the school year in a “non-school” setting at Stanford University as a Wallace Stegner Fellow. Those experiences absolutely changed my writing life. Saved it even. And those workshop leaders were the best teachers I have ever had. But everyone you meet is a potential teacher. You never know who will touch you or your poems, will come back to you years later when you need their words. I’ve never been able to finish a self-help or writing book of any sort, although I have tried. I just had a tennis book recommended to me for what it says about concentration, that that can be applied to writing. Who knows? Maybe this one will stick!

3. How do you stay fit and healthy as a writer?

I’m a new fan of the Wii Fit! My college-age brother got one for Christmas, and my parents ending up buying each of my siblings one because they’re hilarious and imaginative. I also run a lot, run and walk but don’t listen to music. I think when I’m running. I think in the silence of running. I especially love to run into the deep country and in the deep dark ice of early morning winter, when there’s no one around but snow and birds. I’m definitely a winter runner.

Want to find out what Alison’s writing space looks like? What music she listens to while she writes? Find out what she’s working on now, her obsessions, and much more. Check out the rest of my interview with Alison here. Please feel free to comment on the 32 Poems blog and Savvy Verse & Wit.

Check out some of Alison’s work at Prairie Schooner.

***Don’t forget my Arlene Ang, Secret Love Poems, giveaway***

Interview With Poet Bernadette Geyer

I’ve been working on a interview project with Deborah at 32 Poems magazine, and she kindly allowed me to interview past contributors to the magazine. We will be posting the interviews throughout the coming months, and our third interview posted on Deborah’s Poetry Blog of 32 Poems on Feb. 9.

I’m going to provide you with a snippet from the interview, but if you want to read the entire interview, I’ll provide you a link for that as well.

For now, let me introduce to you 32 Poems contributor, Bernadette Geyer:

1. Not only are you a contributor to 32 Poems, but you also have a chapbook of poems published, your own website and your own blog. What “hat” would you consider the most challenging to fulfill and why?

Before “retiring” to become a stay-at-home mother, I worked in public relations. So to me, the website and blog are fairly easy for me to keep up with when I think of them as marketing tools for my writing. The most difficult hat for me to fulfill is being a “writing parent” — it is challenging to find the emotional/psychic space I need to really get into the poem — or article-making frame of mind. I usually cannot create if she is awake and in the house. But I have developed some internal ways of keeping a “creative train of thought” active in my head even when I am doing something completely different.

2. What prompted you to start a blog? How active are you as a blogger? And what types of posts does your blog focus on? Also, do you believe a blog is essential to marketing your work or is the Web site more useful for that purpose?

I started my blog a long time ago, back even before I had “retired” from my full-time PR job. I think it was originally a way of engaging my mind by blogging about the poetic process during my lunch breaks. But I wasn’t a very active blogger. Even now I don’t consider myself very “active.” My posts tend towards the short side – thoughts on poems, references to interesting articles I read, news on my own writing, upcoming readings, or random tidbits I just feel like sharing. I do think a blog is an essential part of a writer marketing his/her work. A web site is a great tool, but very impersonal. I think readers find blogs give them a more personal relationship with a writer than just checking out a static web site. Blogs are great ways of building or broadening an audience for your work.

4. 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 have done all of the above over the past 10-15 years that I’ve been writing. Lately I find “how-to” books to be not very useful in inspiring my work. Exercises are sometimes useful if I just want to get the pen moving (In the Palm of Your Hand by Steve Kowit and The Practice of Poetry ed. by Robin Behn & Chase Twichell, in particular). I find articles, essays and books on poetics to be more inspirational to me in thinking about how I approach my own poems. American Poetry Observed (edited by Joe David Bellamy) was a book I recommend as a collection of poets discussing their own poetics.

I also enjoy and find useful the essays and articles in The Writer’s Chronicle. I don’t have a post-graduate degree in writing, so I try to read everything I can to educate myself. Workshops are not very useful to me anymore except that I have a few good friends who I trust to read my work and provide comments.

I’ve tried forming a writing group among local writing moms, but it’s been hard to keep a regular meeting pattern. I do teach poetry workshops in public elementary schools, and have found Kenneth Koch’s Making Your Own Days and Rose, Where Did You Get That Red? to be very good reminders of how fun it can (and should) be to write for the love of words and language.

Check out Bernadette’s collection of poems, What Remains.


Want to find out what Bernadette’s writing space looks like? What music she listens to while she writes? Find out what she’s working on now, her obsessions, and much more. Check out the rest of my interview with Bernadette here.
Please feel free to comment on the 32 Poems blog and Savvy Verse & Wit.

***Here’s Bernadette’s recently published poem from 32 Poems, here, “Thumbelina’s Mother Speaks: To the Toad’s Mother.”

***Check out
The Bookword Game poll on Suey’s Blog***

Poet Eric Pankey Interview

I’ve been working on a interview project with Deborah at 32 Poems magazine, and she kindly allowed me to interview past contributors to the magazine. We will be posting the interviews throughout the coming months, and our second interview posted on Deborah’s Poetry Blog of 32 Poems on Feb. 5.

I’m going to provide you with a snippet from the interview, but if you want to read the entire interview, I’ll provide you a link for that as well.

For now, let me introduce to you 32 Poems contributor, Eric Pankey:

1. Not only are you a contributor to 32 Poems, you also have a published book, Cenotaph, and in an interview with Bold Type you mentioned you once wanted to be a visual artist. Would you ever consider melding the two forms–visual art and poetry? Also as a poet and professor, what “hat” do you find most difficult to wear and why?

I try to keep the poetry and visual arts separate. Each allows me a different kind of articulation, a different kind of vision.

This last year I had the good fortune to have visual artwork in several juried shows across the country. With the visual work I am just now, at almost fifty, moving out of the amateur realm and trying my hand at the professional realm. I am feeling the same thrill and excitement I felt half my life ago when my first book was accepted for publication.

I tend to be a social creature and the writing of poems happens most often in solitude. The work of teaching gives me community and conversation and that stimulation often leads me to long once again for the solitude of writing. And then the cycle repeats.

2. Poetry is often considered elitist or inaccessible by mainstream readers. Do poets have an obligation to dispel that myth and how do you think it could be accomplished?

I am not sure what a “mainstream reader” is.

I do not, for instance, read contemporary plays and really only read novels in the summer, but that is not because I find them elitist or inaccessible. I find it more pleasurable to read poetry, art history, and general nonfiction.

I think people read what they find pleasurable. Pleasure is one of the purposes of poetry.
Some people like the surface of the poetry they read to be complex, dense, and even hermetic. Some like a surface that is transparent, clear, uncluttered. Some like poetry that is laugh-out-loud funny. Some people like deeply brooding poetry. I think the variety of American poetry is great and that there is poetry out there for all sorts of tastes.

3. How do you stay fit and healthy as a writer?

Sometimes my dog will take me for a walk, but mostly I am out of shape.

About the Poet:

Eric Pankey was born on February 25, 1959 in Kansas City, Missouri, the son of James A. and Frances Pankey both of whom were accountants. In 1985 he married Jennifer Atkinson a writer whose papers are also in Special Collections. Pankey obtained degrees from the University of Missouri at Columbia, B.S., 1981 and the University of Iowa, M.F.A., 1983. He taught at Washington University from 1987 to 1996 and is now Professor of English at George Mason University in Washington, D.C. He was awarded the Walt Whitman Award from the Academy of American Poets in 1984 for his collection, For the New Year. Since then he has written other books including his collections, Heartwood: Poems (1988), The Late Romances: Poems (1997), Apocrypha: Poems (1991) and Cenotaph (2000). His work has been supported by fellowships from The Ingram Merrill Foundation, The National Endowment for the Arts, and The John Simon Guggenheim Memorial.

Want to find out what Eric’s writing space looks like? What music he listens to while he writes? Find out what he’s working on now, and much more. Check out the rest of my interview with Eric here. Please feel free to comment on the 32 Poems blog and Savvy Verse & Wit.

Also, check out this interview with Eric on How a Poem Happens.

Poet Andrea Hollander Budy Interview

I’ve been working on a interview project with Deborah at 32 Poems magazine, and she kindly allowed me to interview past contributors to the magazine. We will be posting the interviews throughout the coming months, and our first interview posted on Deborah’s Poetry Blog of 32 Poems on Jan. 21.

I’m going to provide you with a snippet from the interview, but if you want to read the entire interview, I’ll provide you a link for that as well.

For now, let me introduce to you 32 Poems contributor, Andrea Hollander Budy:

1. Not only are you a contributor to 32 Poems, but you also are a teacher and attend quite a number of conferences. What “hat” would you consider the most challenging to wear and why?

Yes, not only do I write, but guide others both as the Writer-in-Residence at Lyon College and, during the summers, at a variety of writers’ conferences. I also work one-on-one as a long-distance writing tutor (via the mail and telephone). But at all times I wear the same “hat,” because even when I teach others, I do so as a colleague who has enough experience with the craft of creating poems that I can provide insight into the process and help my students or tutees grow stronger as writers and revisers of their own work. Creating one’s own poems is indeed a continual challenge. But whether I am teaching others about this challenge or facing my own blank page, the important point is to enable myself and others to do the best work through continual devotion to doing the work in the first place.

2. Do you have any obsessions that you would like to share?

It’s the writing itself that reveals my deeper obsessions to me. If I am obsessed with anything, it’s with the process of writing itself, with the joy of making discoveries through writing, and with the pleasures of learning through reading the work of others, as well.

3. I noticed that much of your poetry has been categorized as conversational in tone. Do you believe that to be an accurate depiction. Why or why not? Has this always been the style you’ve used?

I have always tried to write as clearly as possible in language that is free of decoration. A poem is already by its nature a dense enterprise — relatively few words attempt to engage readers and provide a compelling experience — and while I don’t wish to write simplistic poems, I do want readers to easily enter a poem and to discover there something valuable not only the first time they read or hear it, but for them to want to enter the poem again and again and to be ushered more deeply into it each time.

About the Poet:

Born in Berlin, Germany, of American parents, raised in Colorado, Texas, New York, and New Jersey, and educated at Boston University and the University of Colorado, Andrea Hollander Budy is the author of three full-length poetry collections: Woman in the Painting, The Other Life, and House Without a Dreamer, which won the Nicholas Roerich Poetry Prize. Other honors include the D. H. Lawrence Fellowship, a Pushcart Prize for prose memoir, the Runes Poetry Award, two poetry fellowships the National Endowment for the Arts, and two from the Arkansas Arts Council. Most recently Budy received the 2008 Subiaco Award for Literary Merit for Excellence in the Writing and Teaching of Poetry.

Want to find out what Andrea’s writing space looks like? What music she listens to while she writes? How she stays fit? and much more? Check out the rest of my interview with Andrea here.

Poet/Writer Meme–Vital Stats

Deborah at 32 Poems posted this meme a bit ago, and I thought it would be fund to adapt to the writers and book reviewers who read my site.

Simply copy the questions and answer them on your blog. I won’t tag anyone, so it’s up to you if you want to do it in the comments or in your own post.

Age when I decided I wanted to be a writer/poet/book reviewer: 6

Age when I wrote my first short story/review/poem: 10

Age when I first got my hands on a good word processor: 16

Age when I first submitted a short story/poem/review to a magazine: 15

Rejections prior to first short story/poem/review sale: Hasn’t happened yet, unless you count review copies as payment.

Age when I sold my first short story/poem/review: See above.

Approximate number of short stories/poems/reviews sold: 1

Year I first published a book: Hasn’t happened yet

Books published or delivered and in the pipeline: None

Number of titles in print: None

Age now: Not telling.

***Don’t forget my giveaway for an inscribed copy of Matrimony by Joshua Henkin. Deadline is Dec. 21 and the contest is international.**

***Check out the winner of the Green Beauty Guide and an announcement about First Book.***