Today we are pleased to feature author Amie Whittemore as our Authors Talk series contributor. In her podcast, Amie uses Maxine Kumin’s essay, “Coming Across: Establishing the Intent of a Poem,” to describe the variable beginnings of poems. Specifically, Amie discusses her own poem, “Lunar Eclipse,” which was a “given poem…a gift, the poem that flows easily.”
However, Amie does not want the listener to think this means it was an easy poem. As she says, “There is no easy poem, there is no love at first sight. What there is, is invitation and readiness.” She emphasizes that poets should be “like a shovel…purposeful but often idle” because “the given poem won’t give itself to us if we are distracted, bottled up, not embracing our shovelness.”
Today we are pleased to feature author Ruben Rodriguez as our Authors Talk series contributor. Ruben discusses the three poems which were published in Issue 18 of Superstition Review.
Ruben developed the poems from his memoir in verse. His poems are prose based and explore family memories from his childhood. He says of the poems, “The poems are meant to examine my coming of age, amidst my mother’s decline.” He talks of the way that family stories can become legends. The explanations that Ruben speaks about add another level to the beautiful imagery found in his poetry. Ruben plans to continue writing in this vein saying, “Moving forwward, I hope to write a couple hundred of these prose poems and whittle them down into a manuscript length.”
Today we are pleased to feature author Julie Marie Wade as our Authors Talk series contributor. In her podcast, Julie discusses the influence of Bernard Cooper’s Truth Serum on her work, like “Where I’m From” and The Regulars. She explains how Cooper’s memoir made her feel more comfortable exploring different essay lengths. In particular, she was inspired by Cooper’s essay, “Where to Begin,” which Julie describes as “really profound to [her] in its compression and how well it establishes what you can expect in the larger volume.”
Julie also reveals the driving force of “trying to figure out what it meant to come from a particular kind of world, where in [her] family being a regular person (synonymous with normal) was the goal.” Julie concludes by reading her essay aloud to contextualize these insights.
Today we are pleased to feature author K.K. Fox as our Authors Talk series contributor. In her podcast, K.K. talks with her writing partner, Hananah Zaheer, via Google Hangout. The pair discusses how they met, their collaborative relationship, and how they “often work on [their] fiction together or in parallel.”
K.K. and Hananah also discuss “Mile Marker 232,” which started with a prompt given to the pair at the Kenyon Writers Workshop in 2016. K.K. reveals that the wife’s fascination with the grotesque was actually proposed by Hananah. The pair elaborates on the development and process of writing “Mile Marker 232,” as well as their different interpretations of the ending.
K.K. and Hananah encourage everyone to check out their blog, Lipstick Junkies, where they talk about their process, working together, and working individually.
Today we are pleased to feature author Natalie Young as our Authors Talk series contributor. Natalie begins by reading “Notes on Earth Life” before explaining how the poem is part of a larger series about a human woman, an alien, and a monster. She shares that her “goal is to combine actual history and reality with speculative fiction to explore identity and human absurdities, as well as culture and environment.”
Natalie also explains how her manuscript attempts to “show a different perspective of things our culture does that we tend to accept as normal, but when seen from fresh eyes can be peculiar.” She reveals that using the voice of an alien helped her achieve this because putting on a mask adds distance. Natalie also delves into her inspiration and the process of choosing what topics to include in her poem.
Today we are pleased to feature author Steve Howe as our Authors Talk series contributor. In conversation with Zoe Speidel (of the Spoken Word Hour on KUNM), Steve discusses “Repossession,” his nonfiction piece published in Issue 18.
Specifically, Steve and Zoe discuss how the essay can almost be seen as a coming-of-age story, as it reflects Steve’s own awakening in Chicago, when he first learned how racism occurs on a systemic level. Steve discusses his own privilege and shares the importance of being “careful as a writer to not appropriate anybody’s viewpoint and language that’s not your own.” Steve also talks about his passion for research and reveals that “you need to do more research than ever gets on the page.”
Today we are pleased to feature author Chelsea Dingman as our Authors Talk series contributor. In her podcast, Chelsea discusses her creative process and how it “almost always stems from reading and discussion.” She also reveals that she loves “that poetry lives in uncomfortable, uncertain circumstances…There’s no resolution required in a poem.”
Chelsea then discusses the background and inspiration behind each of her poems in Issue 18, as well as her forthcoming collection Thaw. After discussing her other projects, like her thesis on her grandfather’s immigration experience and her current manuscript centered on the female body, Chelsea ends her podcast by repeating her earlier sentiment: “I am interested in the uncertainty of those moments and asking questions, every question. I still have so many.”