4 Questions with Sam Love.

 

 

 

 

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

I have been concerned about the environment since I read Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring as a teenager. I also worked on the national staff of the first Earth Day in 1970. In April it will be the fiftieth anniversary of the first Earth Day in 1970. Unfortunately, many of the events have been cancelled. Over the years I have had a number of environmental poems published so I decided to pull some of them together in a manuscript which Fly on the Wall Poetry Press published as “Awakening: Musings on Planetary Survival”.
I had previously self-published an illustrated children’s book “My Little Plastic Bag” which educates children about where plastic goes in our ecosystem. It won a number of awards and is now in Spanish and English. It has been my best seller.

www.mylittleplasticbag.com

 
I feel poets can play an important role in changing our environmental consciousness and they need to speak out in poems with clear messages. It is not a time for obscure images that we hope some people will get. Also, people are scared and depressed because of Covid-19, but they are spending a lot of time on line so we can provide inspiration and understanding for them. I recently put up a graphic on Facebook “Quarantine Your Body, Not Your Mind, Read Poetry”. A number of people shared it.

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?

We timed the release of “Awakening” to the Fiftieth Anniversary of Earth Day and I set up a number of readings through environmental groups and they all got cancelled so I am working social media and trying to get some press attention. But Covid-19 is sucking up all the oxygen. As a result, I have done some virtual book launches and will record some of the poems and put them on my website, YouTube and Facebook. I am also writing some pieces on the resurgence of eco-poetry as a set up to promote “Awakening”.
If you don’t promote your work it is invisible, so you need to let people know about it.

3, What projects are you working on at present?

I am trying to find ways to promote my new book and that is time consuming, but as I have ideas for new poems I write them down and store them in a working file. It’s like planting seeds that I may watch germinate.

4, What does poetry mean to you?

Joy Harjo, our American poet laureate, is the first native American poet laureate. She says something like, “Poetry gives voice to the spirits in the wind.”
I feel like we are channelling some unconscious survival instincts. In my poem in “Awakening” about the disappearance of the ecology symbol that was everywhere around the first Earth Day I write:

  “if everyone lives the American dream,
we will need a planet three times
the size of Mother Earth
and the last time I looked,
she’s not gaining weight.”


That sums it up for me.


lovemusings

4 Questions with Holly Lyn Walrath.

Holly Lyn Walrath IMG_8359_large_cropped

Website // Twitter // Instagram // Amazon // Goodreads

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

 

I like to self-identify as a “weird writer,” which basically applies to everything I do creatively. I don’t write in one specific length but tend to flit between poetry, flash fiction, and now I’m even working on a novella. I write in a variety of genres from sci-fi to fantasy, but all of my work tends to have a weird, speculative, fantastical, or surreal element.

 

I think one of the themes I’m working through right now is what it means to be a woman in today’s world and more specifically how we can gain strength from reimagining our bodies as fantastic. My work often deals with the emotions of guilt and grief. A reviewer called my latest book, Glimmerglass Girl, “at once violent and delicately beautiful,” and I think that basically sums it up. I like dark things, but I want to show people how they can be beautiful.

 

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?

 

This is a never-ending struggle for me! My work appears on Amazon, Goodreads, Twitter, Facebook, Medium, and a variety of other little caverns on the internet. It’s a lot of work to keep everyone up to date on my work right now because I’m in a very prolific period of writing and I’ve been so blessed to have many people support my work. Even though I often feel burnt out, I recognize that it’s important for writers to promote their own work. No one else can shout the praises of your work as well as you. Who else is going to say, “I love this weird little thing that I pulled out of myself, won’t you take it home with you and love it too?”

 

3, What projects are you working on at present?

 

Right now I’m finishing up revisions on my space-opera-pirates-thanos-y novella. (Official title TBD, ha.) It’s basically about a character whose battling her own inner demons. I’m also working on a series of tiny poems that I hope to make into a book. And there’s still my erasure poetry series to finish, which is all erasures of male canonical authors. Uhh… did I mention I’m an overachiever??

 

4, What does poetry mean to you?

 

Edward Hirsch, one of my favorite poets, says that “Reading poetry is an adventure in renewal, a creative act, a perpetual beginning, a rebirth of wonder.” He talks about how the poem has to journey a very long way to get to the reader—all the way from inside my weird mind to the page, where I just hope that the right reader will find it. But to me, when you find a poem that speaks to you, it’s like lightning has struck a dark place. Everything becomes clear and brilliant. That’s my goal in writing poetry—to shine a light into the dark crevices of the world. To build a bridge. To burn a hole in a paper and then view the sun through it.

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