||Q: How did you become interested in writing?
A: I first became interested in writing late in high school, just after I first became interested in reading. I started reading Dylan Thomas, Rainer Maria Rilke, and the American Transcendentalists my senior year, and I started writing very bad little aphoristic essays and poems imitative of Emerson and Thoreau. When I got to college, I met the poetry professor there, Eliot Khalil Wilson, who gave me long reading lists of living and recently dead poets, and that's when I really started getting serious about writing poems.
Q: While writing, what inspires you the most?
A: No single thing, I don't think. I'd say a lot inspires me. I guess I'd say general fascination and uneasiness inspire my writing. Colors. Political events. Belief. Being in a place around other people. These fascinate me, and they make me uneasy.
Q: When did you realize that poetry was for you?
A: When I met Eliot, my first professor, and started exploring modern and contemporary poetry in earnest for the first time, I learned pretty quickly that I wanted to keep studying and writing.
Q: Being a resident of Kansas, how has this state had an impact on your writing?
A: Kansas has impacted my writing a lot, as I think everyone's home place necessarily shapes them— what they see, what they don't see, what they think, and what they don't. There are things about Kansas that I do love, and there are other things that I don't love at all. Both of those find their way, sometimes subtly, sometimes not, into my writing.
Q: What process in writing is hardest for you, whether it's first draft, rewriting, editing, or even the synopsis for publishers?
A: I don't know about hardest. I'd say most of my time is spent in revision, but I don't know if that makes it harder or not. I tend to compose poems fairly quickly, and then I revisit to see what is promising. I just read an excellent essay by Catherine Wagner, though, on the website Evening Will Come, and she has made me rethink how I revise. Every phase is hard. But I like the different phases. I'm not often exasperated by any writing phase, though I do find it challenging.
Q: How would you characterize your poetry?
A: I'm sure someone could characterize my poetry, though I hope different people would characterize it differently. I can tell you what interests me. I hesitate to characterize my writing, though, because I think poetry is above all else suggestive. I don't want to add suggestions to the poem itself, which I hope leaves a space in which the reader can infer and associate on her own.
Q: What authors, books, cultures, or movies have impacted the style and meaning of your writing?
A: Lots and lots of writers / artists / thinkers / doers influence me. To name some off the top of my head: Wittgenstein, Donald Revell, Fanny Howe, Peter Gizzi, Kierkegaard, Joseph Ceravolo, Barbara Guest, Andrei Tarkovsky, Mark McMorris, Mallarme, Paul Thomas Anderson, Deerhunter, Hart Crane, Robert Motherwell, Chaim Soutine, Gerhard Richter, Paul Celan.
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