Dear Reader! Dear Listener!
On October 1, 2021, Sabyasachi (Sachi) Nag at The Artisanal Writer asked me nine questions about the craft of writing and reading. And, I answered them!
The Artisanal Writer asked me these nine Qs:
- Each of your poetry collections seem to have been either triggered by or woven around a few central ideas e.g., The Minuses, around the relationships between women and nature; Instinctive Acts, around immigration and identity; Mind of Spring, around facets of personal and military wars; Landscape of The Wait, around your nephew’s car accident. Do you arrive at the idea first and then compose around the idea or does the idea emerge from the writing, informed by the obsessions at a given period of time?
- What are your primary concerns when constructing a poem? Are you like Frost trying to make each poem as different from the previous as possible? Or do you think that couldn’t be?
- In an interview with Colorado State University, you said “I tend not to bypass what’s present, but instead use it as the prompt from which to write.” In that context, how do you arrive at meaning, or do you consciously not and allow the reader to arrive at it? How important is intention in a particular piece within a themed collection?
- What made you a writer?
- What does it mean/suggest for you to think about your craft with each published work? If you were to associate an image with the development timeline of your writing craft what would that look like?
- In pushing your work beyond your first title what were you most conscious of? What were/are you trying to achieve?
- Are there any books that you keep visiting for inspiration?
- Do you train your subconscious in certain ways to deal with success or rejection?
- How do you deal with aspects of writing that provoke negative emotions such as self-doubt, failure, exasperation? Is there an emotional ritual/practice you follow to deal with that?
The Artisanal Writer editors bestowed upon my responses a lightening accompaniment.
Read my nine responses here!
May you find lightening buried among them.
Within the interview, I offer a five-minute recorded reading from the poems of The Minuses.
(Find the recording after the ninth question.)
Listen to the reading here!
+ Thank you bows (continuous!) to you, dear reader, for the gift of your attention!
+ Thank you bows to Sabyasachi (Sachi) Nag and The Artisanal Writer for the gift of inquiry and space to respond.
+ Thank you bows (continuous!) to publisher Stephanie G’Schwind, and Mountain West Poetry Series editors Donald Revell and Kazim Ali, et al interns at the Center for Literary Publishing (CLP) for making The Minuses (2020) with me.
+ Thank you bows (continuous!) to Beth Svinarich et al at University Press of Colorado for their beautiful support to me and The Minuses.
+ Thank you bows (continuous!) to monsoon storm chaser and marvelous professional photographer, Liz Kemp whose monsoon photograph storms the cover of The Minuses.
+ Thank you bows (continuous!) to Vincent K. Wong for his friendship, creative collaboration, and for taking my author photos.
+ This bears repeating: Thank you bows (continuous!) to you, dear reader, for the gift of your attention! If you have any questions or comments, write me!