INTERVIEW WITH MAYA JACYSZYN
Rappahannock Review Poetry Editors: The lack of punctuation in “quiet rebellion” is refreshing and brings out the emphasis of your line breaks. How do you view breaking lines as a tool in poetry?
Maya Jacyszyn: Line breaks vary depending on the poet and the rhythm they set out to achieve in a piece. I find that line breaks are an efficient way to both indicate a pause or in the case of “quiet rebellion,” continue one seamless thought. The words placed just before a line break are crucial indicators of how to achieve either motive.
RR: How does the speaker’s identity as a single mother’s daughter affect the sense of rebellion in the poem?
MJ: When I think of “rebellion,” I’m reminded of bravery, but also struggle, and the identity of a single mother’s daughter is heavily reflective of that. In this piece, the sense of rebellion is the product of the speaker’s shift in outlook. Instead of viewing her daily struggles as just that, she focuses on the feminism she represents as a single mother’s daughter and rebels against stereotypical household norms. She doesn’t need someone (a father) to do these tasks for her; she can and will proudly “man” the house herself.
RR: Are line brevity and enjambment common elements that reflect your writing style? What other techniques do you find yourself incorporating into your poetry?
MJ: Yes, I frequently like to write pieces that read as one thought or sometimes many thoughts in one stream of consciousness. I like poetry that reads quickly and looks appealing on the page. Line brevity is a large part of accomplishing those goals. Other techniques I focus on include diction, metaphor, symbolism, and when it comes to me, humor.
RR: How has your experience as the editor-in-chief of Crimson & Gray influenced your writing?
MJ: I owe much of my desire to write from my experiences editing the Crimson & Gray, partly from collaborating with the wonderful staff. I found motivation and purpose through furthering my editorial skills and pushing myself to network. Bringing the magazine to fruition is one of my proudest moments and I think back to that whenever I hit a rut in my writing.
RR: What advice do you have for anyone interested in publishing their poetry?
MJ: Numb yourself to rejection and make it a habit to submit work every day. No matter the talent of a writer, their work is bound to be turned away, so I think it’s best to have no expectations. Put yourself out there and then let it go. Don’t ruminate over past failures. Trust that your work will find a home eventually and be grateful to partake in the process. If you are consistently writing and submitting, even if it’s not your best piece of work, something will land somewhere.
Read “quiet rebellion” by Maya Jacyszyn.