I was so thrilled to hear from Josh Roark, editor of Frontier Poetry and Palette Poetry, when he contacted me earlier this week to ask if I might be interested in participating in Frontier’s Poet in the Mirror Series. He explained that this is a new series through which Frontier offers a glimpse of the inner life and background of a professional poet.
Here’s a true fact…someone else they’d had lined up to do it, didn’t come through for whatever reason, and the journal was in a pinch, with an extremely tight turnaround. But I recognized this was a rare opportunity, so…”hmmm, let me think about it…” I said…NOT!
Of course, I was delighted to be asked. Not only do I really respect Josh — a wonderful editor and who has done amazing things with Frontier and its sister publication, Palette Poetry, both of which I’m humbled to say have published poems of mine — but I’m mindful of what a privilege it is to be able to share my thoughts about my own writing and writing in general.
He offered several questions, and was able to take a few hours during the evening night before last to think through my answers. Of course, I changed them several times:) I was intrigued by the questions, which prompted me to reflect about a lot of things, not least of which is what it means to call oneself a “professional poet.” It’s just not a term I would use to describe myself, although certainly I’m a serious poet, and my interest in poetry, and commitment to it, goes beyond that of a “creative outlet” or a mere hobby. In truth, the money I’ve made through poetry, in all seriousness, between poetry journal payments and a few book sales, might come to around….maybe $300? Does that make me a professional poet? If not, what does? I sound an old Southern lady if I say that question really tickled me, but, it did!
I hope Josh and the Frontier team know how much it means to me to be thought of and asked to do this interview. It was such a pleasure. You can read it here. Let me know what you think!