Another fine submission period is over with, and now I start the arduous task of deciding the contest winners and putting the issue together (which, due to a computer failure and my distrust of cloud computing, will have to be done from scratch). So, hold your submissions until November 1, and start saving up your pennies for this issue. I figure it’ll be out in a week, but we’ll see how my work/play balance works out.
Regardless, thanks to everyone who submit their poems and fiction and especially art, which came in spades this time around. Every time I’m down on this whole thing (usually after reading a poem about the environment with rhyming couplets), I get a submission that makes it all worth it.
Late but never unwanted, we’ve got our last interviewee from Issue 4, Karrie Waalara, who gave us her poem “Reunion” to publish.
Describe your work in 25 words or less.
Tiny snapshots of life (some mine), mostly disguised as persona or how-to.
Tell me about your poem “Reunion.”
“Reunion” is one of the rare poems of late that doesn’t fall into either of the two categories above. It’s just the snapshot, no disguise, of that bittersweet moment when a former love finally truly becomes a friend. It’s easy to say, “Oh, sure, we stayed friends after we broke up” — but in reality it can take a circuitous route to get there.
What or who inspires you to write?
Almost any little glimpse of life can make me want to write. I keep those moments filed away in notebooks or in the back of my brain until they find the right poem. As far as actually sitting down to do the writing… lots of other things I “should” be doing can make writing irresistible. Villanelles are more fun than cleaning the garage or giving the dog a bath.
What authors have influenced you as a writer?
I was just telling one of my creative writing classes that when I look back at my early writing, I can tell exactly whose work I was reading at the time. All of that young, eager imitation. I hope that the influence isn’t as transparent now… but the long list would include writers like Anne Sexton, Marge Piercy, Lucille Clifton, Patricia Smith, Thomas Lynch, Sandra Beasley, Sandra Cisneros…
Do you have a blog/website?
I’m online at www.poetrysideshow.com.
What are you working on right now?
I seem to be at one of those in-between times lately in which the new ideas are percolating. Those can go on for months for me before the work comes pouring out. I’ve been using the time to focus on revising my manuscript of circus persona poems and trying to find it a good home.
Any advice for other writers?
Read. Read, read, read. And then read some more. It’s impossible to be a writer without being a reader.