Interviews 5.3

Constance Brewer

Poetry is more of a partnership between myself and the poem. It gives, I take, and then we reverse in a complicated word waltz. Often I only have a first line, and I love to sit down and see where that little kernel of an idea takes me.

Kae Bucher

I believe we need to live within the natural. We try to cram life into a child’s pencil box, instead of allowing ourselves to live and breathe.

Mikayla Davis

“I wanted to make sure that the picture in my head was being represented on the screen.”

Tyler Farrell

Novalis, the 18th century German poet, author, philosopher said that “chaos in the work of art should shimmer behind the veil of order” and I completely agree. We as readers need to look to both in poetry – chaos and order – and embrace what both can give us for meaning and emotion.

Karen Greenbaum-Maya

I suppose it’s part of having been a psychologist, in that I am interested in people, in how they manage their inner lives within the demands of their outer lives.

Andrew Hahn

“Sexuality and religion have really been important in my writing because they were ideas that couldn’t co-exist within evangelical culture. I grew up as a gay boy in the church, so I’ve always wrestled with why there couldn’t be a space for both.”

Brittany Hailer

Just exercise that muscle and after a while it will be as easy as breathing. Don’t be so hard on yourself. Just tell a good goddamn story. Pretend we’re sitting on a porch and drinking a beer.

Summer Hardinge

I thought about what a delicate balance there is between light and darkness—of how what happens in the whelm of the sky and cosmos often reflects this delicate thing of our being human.

Barry Herzog

Humor and death? They don’t call Him the Grim Reaper for nuthin’. I’m in my seventies and living on borrowed time. I can’t ignore reality—I will die—and my kids refuse to talk with me about my imminent demise.

Jenn Hollmeyer

It’s a real balancing act. For me, a realistic story doesn’t feel fully developed unless I can see glimpses of other plotlines hiding in the corners. Because that’s the way life is.

Jonathan Kravetz

If I plan my stories out too rigidly, like I’m drawing blueprints for a building, the work will feel stale and I’ll end up designing a warehouse instead of some imaginative, towering skyscraper.”

Susanna Lang

Now I think I’m being the magpie about poetic tools, too: I don’t want to limit myself to one kind of voice, and I don’t see any reason why a poem can’t move back and forth between voices.

Donna J. Gelagotis Lee

It was in Greece that I began to question religion, patriarchy, and gender roles rigorously. How do our beliefs about death, religious or otherwise, impact our lives?

Rebecca Macijeski

I have that goal of accumulation and resonance in mind. Part of the work for me is identifying what my obsessions will be in a given project so I can pay attention to how those images and themes present themselves as I’m drafting

Jennifer McGuiggan

I was looking for meaning and belonging in nature, searching for understanding of the unseen world by more closely examining the seen world.

Robin Michel

Both artists and poets must train their eyes to see. Poems paint an image with words

Meryl Natchez

I am immersed in landscape daily, whether in my little urban farm surrounded by oaks, on the trails of Tilden Park or the extensive trails around the bay. It nourishes and sustains me.

Ron Riekki

“I tend to be passive in some aspects and have hung around with rather larger-than-life people who have swooped me up into strange narratives and I was excited to do this with this narrator.”

Charlie James Stephens

“I wanted to convey a sort of shift with how gender is perceived, and how that concept is, I believe, drastically changing with the generation coming up now.”

July Westhale

“Whenever I express any strong opinion publically, political or otherwise, there is an immediate impulse by the tide of the Internet to discredit me. Poke holes in my logic, with whatever blunt instrument happens to be around.