Interviews

Four Questions with Joanna Valente ( @joannasaid )

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Joanna Valente


 

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Continue reading “Four Questions with Joanna Valente ( @joannasaid )”

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Interviews

Four Questions with Leila Tualla ( @LeilaTualla )

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Leila Tualla

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1, Tell us about you, and your writing (themes, influences etc.)

– I am a follower of Christ, first and a mama second. I most definitely use faith – struggles, waywardness, intensity of being “in it,” and motherhood, in all its messy and beautiful glory, in all of my poems.

Continue reading “Four Questions with Leila Tualla ( @LeilaTualla )”

Interviews

Four Questions with Linda Crate ( @thysilverdoe )

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Linda Crate

 

  1. Tell us about you, your writing (themes, influences, etc.)

I am the oldest of two children. I was born in Pittsburgh, PA USA but I grew up in a rural town called Conneautville. I graduated from Linesville High School in 2005. I went on to college, and graduated in December 2009 from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania with a degree in English-Literature.

Thematically, I write about a bunch of topics: how I was bullied as a girl,  about how I have been used and abused by so called friend or people who were supposed to care, sexual assault, about finding my voice and how I refuse to surrender it, self-love, politics, feminism, nature, and even the things that haunt and scare me among other things. I write fantasy, I write horror, and I write the weird. Almost everything I write fiction wise has a genre.

As far as my influences go everyone and everything I have ever read can inspire poems. The biggest players in the writing field that have done this are: Edgar Allan Poe, e.e. cummings, T.S. Eliot, Adrienne Rich, J.K. Rowling, Emily Dickinson, Anne Rice, C.S. Lewis, and J.R.R. Tolkien. I am one of those writers that is inspired by mostly anything: nature, music, other books, other writers, etc. I think I am lucky in that way that inspiration can strike me anywhere and at any time.

2. What are some of the ways you promote your work, and do you find these add, or eat into, your time writing?

Promoting is always the hardest part for me. I don’t want to be overly zealous and promote too much because there are some writers that irritate me with how much they are constantly promoting, and I automatically tune them out. I don’t want people to do that to me.

So I post when the work comes out, obviously, and I periodically post to remind people that the book is still available or if there are any sales going on.

I find that these posts tend to eat into my writing time as I work a 40 hr job, as well, but I understand the necessity and need for it. If no one knows about your work, how will you be found? I just find it frustrating, that’s all. Especially when people refuse to help you promote and share.

3. What projects are you working on at present?

I’m currently working on a fantasy novel centering around a black female protagonist who happens to be an elf and a chapbook that I was going to call Reviled or Entitled, but I think will instead call by one of the names of another poems in the book: “even ugly girls are pretty”. Even Ugly Girls Are Pretty is a chapbook centered around the concept of body image, owning one’s body, and how frustrating it is that sometimes people feel “entitled” to one’s body when it is not their own. I’m also going to be submitting to presses where I could be published both online and in print for my poetry, short stories, essays, etc.

4. What does poetry mean to you?

Poetry has always been very meaningful to me. It is a way of making a statement without being interrupted. It is a way to find out about one’s self in relationship to the world. It is a way of telling someone something without being too in their face, just giving them another perspective or point of view they may not have otherwise considered. It is also a way to call attention to matters that are important that people don’t always like to talk about.

I like poetry because to me it is like music lyrics. It can be deep and meaningful or playful and immature, but there is always a statement to be made regardless of the format. The most important thing is being heard in a world that is sometimes too full of noise for my liking.

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The chapbook My Wing Were Made to Fly is about the difficulties that sometimes arise in loving one’s self, pressing through fears and doubts to accomplish dreams, the importance of loving one’s self, of how one can only be themselves and to be anyone else would be a waste of who they are, the power and importance of dreams, how one must prove themselves to be of worth to themselves before they can convince anyone else they are worth it, of how sensitivity and kindness aren’t weaknesses but rather strengths, and how one cannot be caught up in comparisons or the negativity opinions of others if they wish to press on with their dreams.


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Interviews

Four Questions with Priscilla McGreer ( @Priscilla_McG )

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Priscilla McGreer

 

  1. Tell us about you, and your writing (themes, influences etc.)

I’ve been a writer since I was a small child who did not yet know how to properly read and write. I would fill notebooks with scribbles only I could “read” and recount the stories therein to my amused parents. My love for stories is not only a cornerstone of my identity; it is also foundational to my writing. Central to all my work are stories, either of my own invention or those from depths deeper than any single human mind: the myths and tales that belong to us all.

  1. What are some of the ways in which you promote your work, and do you find these add, or eat into, your time writing?

Although social media is universally regarded as a distraction from “real life” I have found it to be a singular enhancement to my life as a writer, and it is my primary tool for promoting my work. Making connections with readers and other writers via my social media presence has opened me up to individuals and communities I would not so have easily encountered in my regular life. I rarely direct pitch my work to others, whether through social media or any other venue, rather I seek connections and build relationships with the like-minded. The time I spend communicating with such people is a source of inspiration and encouragement for me and a boon to my writing.

  1. What projects are you working on at present?

My current projects are a collection of short stories titled “Love and other Provocations” and a narrative poem called “The Dream” Both these works are explorations of romance from the perspective of a young woman. “The Dream” is my first narrative poems, whereas “Love and other Provocations” is a return to my initial literary mode, the short story.

  1. What does poetry mean to you?

Poetry is the soul expressing its love for the world.

 

 

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Poet Priscilla McGreer’s Confessions of a Self-Loathing Narcissist presents an exploration of self-hood through the cosmic lens of astrology. Each poem in this series is inspired by and named after one of the twelve houses of the zodiac, considering universal themes such as love, life, sex, death, childhood, and friendship that become profoundly personal within the verses. The brooding yet exultant musings of this poetry collection aptly takes its name from the Greek myth of the tragically self-obsessed Narcissus.

Confessions of a Self-Loathing Narcissist is an inquest into the sometimes dreadful awakening that can only be ever so painfully gained through self-knowledge. The introspective honesty of the poetry in this collection opens a path to triumphant release from the enthrallment with misery and self-limitation that plagues our self-centred culture.

 


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Interviews

Four Questions with Isabelle Kenyon ( @kenyon_isabelle )

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Isabelle Kenyon

1. Tell us about you, and your writing (themes, influences etc.)

I am a poet and spoken word performer. I think the themes of my writing as increasingly becoming more political. Recently love and turning points in myself are influencing my poetry, so the feel of my writing is constantly shifting with the people that I meet and situations I find myself in.

2. What are some of the ways in which you promote your work, and do you find these add, or eat into, your time writing?

I find that marketing massively eats into my writing time. I am very proactive and I schedule my posts a week ahead. I feel a lot of pressure to keep up high quality content on my blog and to promote my work, because I worked very hard on my collections. I think I want to work to a more 50-50 balance of writing and promoting strategy.

3. What projects are you working on at present?

At present I am working with Claire Songbirds Publishing House, New York, to make my chapbook ‘Digging Holes to Another Continent’ as perfect as it can be, for its release in May! You can preorder this from the website now. The collection was inspired by my visit to the stunning country of New Zealand, at a vulnerable time for me and my family.

4. What does poetry mean to you?

Poetry means self expression. Poetry is power. Poetry is shaping my words the way I want – my message can be written as eloquently or as broken as I want to present it and I love that artistic freedom.

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Digging Holes to Another Continent, contains twenty poems, but it speaks volumes. Almost like a small story in verse, the poems in this chapbook chronicle the sights and experiences of a trip to New Zealand. The beaches and the sea feature heavily in these perfect small poems, and these pieces turn the reader into a traveler to far distant shores.

(Blurb by Nicholas Trandahl, author of Pulling Words and Think of Me)


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