Q + A with Jennifer Martelli, Issue 18 Contest Winner

Though she’s already been interviewed by us about ten issues ago, she was generous enough to answer even more inane questions. Hurry, Jenn! And remember, if you want to read Jennifer’s award-winning poem “At the Border,” you can buy a copy of Issue 18 by clicking here.



Describe your writing in 25 words or less.

That is a tough one! I can say what I’m not, or where I’m trying to improve: I’m not a very good narrative poet. I’m working on that!


Talk about your poem “At The Border.”

“At the Border” is sort of an ekphrastic poem. I have an old snapshot of my younger sister with my grandfather on the couch, and you can see my hand, arm and leg (a 60’s version of a photo bomb). I’ve been writing about Kitty Genovese (murdered in Queens, NY, 1964), and kind of entwining my own childhood in the 60’s. That picture—my go-go orange tights, my tanned arms—seemed to embody so much of that time. . . .including the bigotry.


Who or what inspires you to write?

I’m inspired by reading other poets, or by becoming obsessed with something. I rarely plan to write a poem. So, I’ve been reading a lot of non-fiction (about the murder), which I have to temper with poetry, for the music. I’m re-reading Danez Smith’s [insert] boy.


Do you have a website or blog so we can follow your writing?

Yes, my website is www.jennifermartelli.com. I am very bad about updating it! I also have a Facebook author page.


What are you working on right now?

I have two manuscripts almost done (I think). The one nearest to my heart is about Kitty Genovese.


Where can we read your work next?
I have working forthcoming (in March) in Tinderbox, and later into the spring, in Outlook Springs and Glass Poetry. My chapbook, After Bird,  was chosen by Grey Book Press to be published later in the spring also. I also have a “collage” essay in Five 2 One (again, about Kitty).
Any advice for your fellow writers?

Write! Write! And find a writing community!

Anything else?

Don’t stray too far from poetry!

About bopdeadcity

Bop Dead City is an independent, quarterly literary magazine. We are seeking new writers who have a great story to tell. Sound craftsmanship couldn't hurt either. All of our issues are available for purchase here on the site through Paypal. If you’d like to know more about what type of work we publish, reading a back issue would be the best way to do it. View all posts by bopdeadcity

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