Check out the first post here if you want to enter to win a copy of Out of True.
I wanted to interview Amy for this blog tour because I love Amy; any excuse to talk to Amy is a win in my book. I asked her some questions about writing poetry, reading poetry, words she likes, and the future of poetry–the topic I purposely didn’t cover was her poetry inspirations, as she’s been writing posts about them already! You can find those here, here, and here.
How often do you read poetry? Read any good poems lately?
I read poetry much less often than I should. Time’s been short lately. I recently went on an e.e. cummings binge and absolutely devoured everything of his I could find online. I fell madly in love with “You are tired,” which somehow I hadn’t come across before, and have read it about once a day ever since. So, so beautiful.
What’s the process of writing a poem like? How long does it take to get one from rough draft to final draft?
It really depends on the poem. Some come to be almost fully-formed, like they wanted to be written and just need to get out; some, I get an idea or a line and then I have to fill in the work around that line (or flesh out that idea.) I have some that I’ve written from start to finish in only a couple of hours and some that have been languishing in my “poetry that needs editing” file for months and I don’t know if they’ll ever be quite right.
Do you have any habits or rituals that you absolutely must abide when writing?
No – I’m pretty laid-back when I’m writing. I can write on paper, I can write on my laptop, I can write at the kitchen table or on my couch while inane television is blasting. I’m lucky like that, I guess.
Do you have any opinions about modern poetry, or predictions about the fate of poetry in the modern era? Is it really fading, or are people being Chicken Littles?
I think there will always be room for poetry and always people to read it. I think it’s changing, and I think that’s what’s wonderful about poetry – as people evolve, so does the work. I think there will always be poets, and always be poetry. The world needs it. The world would be an empty place without it.
Poets obviously love words. What are some of your favorite words? words that crop up repeatedly in your work?
Ooh, I like this one. I notice a lot of themes coming up repeatedly, maybe, more so than words. Looking through my book, I seem to use “silver” often, and various iterations of fire – flames/flame/fire. But mostly it’s themes, I think. Some of my favorite words? So many. I don’t know if I can even choose. I like palimpsest a lot. And a lot of other words. So, so many. Words just elate me.
Does it make you nervous, putting your poetry out into the world for everyone to read, since poetry is such an intensely personal thing?
Absolutely. It petrifies me. It’s not as scary as it used to be – especially since the book came out and people have been so positive about it – but it’s so much more personal than a blog post or a tweet or a Facebook post or something like that. It’s your heart on a page, and people can judge that. It’s terrifying. But it’s also a powerful thing, and it makes me feel like I can conquer the world, so it’s a double-edged sword, I guess.
What is your favorite kind of cupcake?
Hmm. I don’t eat a lot of cake, unfortunately for me. So I’d have to say pretty much any cupcake’s ok with me. Except carrot cake. I’m not a fan of carrot cake. Oh, and I have nothing to do with that terrible frosting at the grocery store that’s really whipped cream. Whipped cream is NOT FROSTING. Buttercream is frosting and that is that.
(I agree: whipped cream is not frosting.)
Have any questions you might want to ask Amy? Leave them in the comments–she just might answer!