Today’s interview is with Denise R. Weuve, who wrote the wonderful poem “Lilith” that appears in our first issue.
Describe your poetry in 25 words or less.
Confessional bent with the intent to leave the reader gasping from lines that haunt, go for the throat and won’t let go.
Who has influenced you the most as a writer?
Everything and everyone influences me, a midnight drive to Las Vegas, a grasshopper trapped in my classroom, men in business suits at a bar. It’s just life, from a friend who ghosts out in few too many poems (to the point he thinks they are all him now), a mother who has laid the ground work for many more poems to come, to whether or not I like the way the sun rose today. Influence for me can be found in the gutter as well as in another poem. Just doesn’t matter, as long as I stay open to everything and everyone.
Tell me about your poem “Lilith.”
I am the product of an Italian-Irish mother who sent me to Catholic School. It was her deal with God so that I survived a premature birth. At times I fit in and but in the end it was clear I was far too independent for conformity like that of the church I was being taught under. I stupidly felt that anyone forced for a 12 years to learn under the same structure would see the holes in the system and 180 it upon graduation. Edward Hanson did not; instead he went to seminary school. As you can see I took it well.
Do you keep a blog?
Oh yes. A couple, but the one that most often pertains to my writing is DeniseRWeuve.wordpress.com
I use it for updates on publications, writing and general thoughts that inspire or are about writing.
What are you reading right now?
Besides 100 freshmen To Kill A Mockingbird essays, Ordinary Genius by Kim Addonizio, Transformations by Anne Sexton (it was just her birthday after all), Our Lady of the Ruins by Traci Brimhall, and Letters to Guns by Brendan Constantine. I can’t read or do just one thing at a time; it’s horrible and the remnants of an ADHD personality far before they were diagnosed.
Do you have any advice for other writers?
Read what you like so you emulate, read what you don’t like so you don’t emulate, then write, write, write, write, go back to reading, cereal boxes if necessary, simply read, journals, blogs, the lines in your friends faces. Then feel free to write again. Write until your fingers bleed and you swear there isn’t another word left in your body. Only after that, when you are ready, submit your work. Do so knowing you will be rejected, but that just means you are doing it right. If you don’t get rejected you can’t find the joy in acceptance.
And do all of these far better than I, as I am too often lazy and the wrong person to ask.
What are you working on right now?
I was out with a man that said something to me that harkened back to something my mother would say as I was growing up, and the idea came to mind that my mother was an oracle. So currently I am working on a poem about how my mother was the Oracle of Daisy Street. Sort of the idea that prophecies can be hexes instead of destinies. We shall see where it ends up.
Denise R. Weuve’s work appears or is forthcoming in Bop Dead City, Carnival Literary Magazine, Emerge Literary Journal, Eunoia Review, Genre, Gutter Eloquence, Pearl, Red River Review, RipRap, San Pedro River Review, and South Coast Poetry Journal. She has received accommodations for her poetry from Shelia-Na-Gig, South Coast Poetry Review and Donald Drury Award.
As a teacher of English and Creative Writing in Cerritos, California she hopes to introduce a love of poetry to the next generation.
Currently Denise is actively seeking the perfect MFA program (or one that will take her-which ever comes first). She collects paper cuts, and other miscellaneous damage to display in glass cases (her blog http://deniserweuve.wordpress.com/). Contact her at Inkdamage@gmail.com or follow her on facebook, http://www.facebook.com/denise.weuve.1