Full Disclosure: P&W Article

The photo above is a scan of half the Poets & Writers interview. The other half wrapped to the other page. (click on image to enlarge)

Taking a page out of Kate Durbin's book (who was also featured in Poets & Writers debut poets roundup, here's the entire list of questions. Can't say enough nice things about P&W. If you haven't picked up the issue, please do so because there's a diverse cross-section of emerging poets from across the United States.

(FYI, Check out Kate's YouTube video of her poem "23 Erotic Dreams of Sarah Palin.")

1. How old are you -- more specifically, how old will you be on January 1, 2010?
40 years old.

2. Where do you live?
Beverly, MA

3. Do you have a graduate degree in creative writing?
Yes, an MFA from New York University

4. If so, was your graduate school experience a positive one?
It was the best time in my life. I learned so much from my professors and fellow classmates. And the connections I made then are still current today.

5. What do you do for a living?
I’m a Senior Writer/Editor for Babson College.

6. Does your job allow for enough writing time?
Which job? There’s the day job, then there’s the mommy job (I have two kids under the age of 7). There’s not enough time in the day so you make more hours.

7. What inspires you to write?
I love putting words together. I’m in love with the sound and rhythm they make banging against each other. I intentionally try to mis-hear words and phrases, jot them down, and use them in a poem.

8. Were you inspired by anything specific during the writing of Underlife?
When I was pregnant with my second child in 2005, I felt disconnected from poetry and the writing community. So I started a blog (Poet Mom). I posted poems on my blog, and visited other blogs and group sites. My writing took off from there. I had to complete the manuscript. I just had to. Didn’t want to have any regrets about my ability, or feel unfulfilled in my writing life.

9. What do you turn to when you've reached an impasse in your writing? What keeps you writing?
I blog, rewrite to-do lists, play with the kids, and connect with other writers and draw inspiration from them. What keeps me writing? Writing is my vocation. I enjoy writing more than anything else.

10. What's your favorite book?
Fiction: The Color Purple by Alice Walker. Poetry: The Dead and the Living by Sharon Olds.

11. How long did it take you to write the poems in your book?

Two years.

12. How long did you try to find a publisher for your book before it was accepted by CavanKerry Press?
Six months. I submitted to two contests, and two publishers with open submission periods. CavanKerry only reads during open submission periods.

14. If you could show a prospective reader a line or two from your book --- just a couple representative lines --- what would they be?

From “How to Make a Crab Cake”

Always, it’s a matter of guesswork
but you hold it together
by the simplest of ingredients,

for this is how the body learns to be generous,
to forgive the flaws inherited
and enjoy what lies ahead.

15. Are you working on a second book of poetry or a book in a different genre?
Yes, I’m editing my second manuscript.

16. Any advice you'd like to share with other poets who are trying to publish their debut books?

Don’t underestimate the value of community. Get involved on a local level, or reach out to the virtual world. I’ve been a Cave Canem fellow since 1997, a member of the online community Read Write Poem (formerly Poetry Thursday), and a member of writers’ group in Salem, Massachusetts. These are the people who will get me through when the words aren’t coming.


evelyn.n.alfred said…
I have that copy of Poet & Writers. Thanks for mentioning it, or I may not have picked up this issue.

Nice shout-out to Read.Write.Poem!

What do your kids thinking about your book? Are they impressed?
jessie carty said…
that really is a great article and i love seeing the additional questions. i so want to be you when i group up :) hehe i say this as 5 years younger than you!
January said…
Jessie, I feel old. Thanks!

January said…
Evelyn, my kids were unimpressed until I started reading poems about them to them. Then they perked up right away. :)

It helps that they're now learning about poetry in school, too.

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