Today, we’re interviewing Elizabeth Cook, who contributed the poem “Apple Seed” to this issue, and was a close, unofficial second in our contest too. She’s also the first Canadian we’ve published, and I would say that I would’ve saved a ton of money paying her in Canadian dollars if she had won, but that joke doesn’t work anymore.
Describe your work in 25 words or less.
I like things that sound nice when I read them, so I try to write that way. Rhythm and rhyme help words stick in my head.
Tell me about your poem “Apple Seed.”
When I wrote “Apple Seed” I was feeling guilty about circumstances that had seemed to conspire against me, and I somehow thought of the way circumstances conspired against Eve in the Garden of Eden. I wondered to what extent one could be expected to make amends for a mistake, and if it is not possible to do so, why that feels so unfair.
Who or what inspires you to write?
Books inspire me to write, whether I am working on poetry or prose. Reading constantly presents new scenes, ideas, and words that could morph into an entire poem.
What authors have influenced you as a writer?
I admire the sense of balance in Jane Austen’s sentences; I enjoy Poe’s drama and breadth; I chase after Shakespeare’s wonderful complexities and never get close.
Do you have a blog/website?
I do have a blog, serialoutlet.wordpress.com. I post poetry, prose, and other thoughts. There’s even some Dungeons and Dragons world-building.
What are you reading at the moment?
Right now I just finished Musashi, by Eiji Yoshikawa, and A Mountain of Crumbs, by Elena Gorokhova. I am reading The Old Man and the Sea, by Hemingway, to be followed by A Book of Five Rings, by Musashi.
What are you working on right now?
My work in progress is a novel called Orison, which is related in first person by a child who saw their father die, and who managed to find and insinuate themselves into the household of the murderer. It is set in a fictional/fantasy land similar to medieval Japan.
Any advice for other writers?
I am trying to read and write as much as I can, and I think that’s the best advice I can recommend!
Anything else you’d like to say?
I am always looking for beta readers, so anyone interested can check out my blog, serialoutlet.wordpress.com.