Issue 6.2 Contributor Interviews

maggie blake bailey

“If you let that go, really delve into those memories of sense, then you can edit later. But you can’t edit if you never let yourself go there in the first place.”

gershon ben-avraham

“How might God walk through the troubled sea of Michael’s life?”

cortney lamar charleston

“I was kind of taken aback to see it out there, growing from the soil, so present and present tense.”

thomas cook

“When things feel that way, fresh and strange, they kind of call to be written about.”

charlotte covey

“In my work, poems are about a particular feeling, and sometimes using long metaphors and pretty language puts enough distance between me and the subject matter that I can catch the feeling by surprise.”

carson faust

“I wanted it to be a recipe, but it also needed to be instructions for carrying out a murder. I wanted the recipe to contain anger, sadness, regret, and memory.”

rachel a.g. gilman

“I wanted the listener to feel a little overwhelmed by the amount of information they were receiving, to create the feeling it was all entering their brain at once.”

sal kang

“In terms of interacting with ‘Eutrophication,’ I would love nothing more than for readers to be a bit vulnerable themselves and share a time they felt like the persona in the poem. I find that this poem is a piece that sounds almost excessively angry when read in a happy state.”

jennifer schomburg kanke

“Sitting with our experiences and letting ourselves fully remember the details of our lives is a way to get past clichés and abstractions. It hasn’t been easy for me to be honest about my life because I think sometimes the details of my life don’t make sense to other people.”

rick kempa

“To carry the little notebook with you at all times, to have ink stains in your pockets—some might say you are ruining your clothes, I say you are adding value to them.”

lita kurth

“For those who endure and survive, sometimes we can do little gestures: plant a rose, write a poem.”

john leonard

“When natural curiosity is met with fear or misguidance, an obvious tension is created.”

sofia martimianakis

“The tensions I experienced as a child, between the culture I was immersed in at school and the culture my immigrant parents fostered at home shaped my identity as both a person and a writer.”

lauren mcdaniel

“I didn’t need to be angry anymore, I needed to be happy. From that moment, I realized that this wasn’t an ‘I hate you’ poem, this was an ‘I love myself’ poem. This is the message I hope I conveyed in that small narrative, and also the last line of the poem.”

lucien darjeun meadows

“To be so small. To recognize your own smallness. There is a terror and a beauty in it, as per the Romantic sublime, and I live for the moments, as a runner and a poet and a being in this world in this time, when my ‘I’ falls away and I am submerged—not merely interconnected, but submerged—into a natural space much larger and lasting than I could ever begin to comprehend.”


john sibley williams

“I cherish those moments of awe when a poet does something I’ve never seen before or expresses a recognizable theme in emotionally raw ways. I want a poem to hurt me. I grow as a writer each time a poet hurts me.”


jamie witherby

“My degree in anthropology got me curious about what makes people uncomfortable. Not just scared, but that squirming-in-your-chair sort of distaste for what you’re viewing and experiencing.”