A poem I wrote soon after Hurricane Irma made a visit to the Florida Panhandle, “What’s Left of Us is Shaken,” is s forthcoming in Split Rock Review, a wonderful journal I have admired for some time. I’ll link to it when it’s up in the fall issue, but at some point in my communication with Crystal Gibbons, the journal’s editor, I mentioned that my new chapbook had just come out, ahead of schedule. She generously asked if I might be interested in participating in Split Rock’s Photic Zone series, which features interviews with contributors about their creative process and relationship to the environment.
I was delighted to be asked, and surprised at how the questions I was given spurred me to think and re-think how I approach my writing, and what specific aspects of my process seem notable to me. When and where do I write, when I write? In what ways does my environment come into play? How do I define “place,” both literally and imaginatively? This interview also allowed me to reflect on how Accommodations came to be.
I didn’t have ready answers for some of Crystal’s questions, so I went through a few drafts and several online searches, seeking out other author interviews, before arriving at answers I was comfortable with. One site I found had wonderful interviews with several poets I follow (I recommend the River Heron “Conversations” section; even if you don’t know any of the poets here, the interviews offer wonderful insights.) This was a great way to learn more about writers I admire, but also turned out to be an edifying and deeply rewarding experience overall.
Although it’s true I’ve been accused of “writing long” by many editors over the years, I didn’t realize how much I’d written, copywise, until I finished my responses — and subsequently told Crystal she should feel free to edit to her space and taste! However, she ran the whole thing, so if you’re interested in reading (which I hope you are), you might want to pour a cup of coffee (or two) to get through it!
Here’s the link to the interview.