Today’s Q&A is with Lauren Gordon, a contributor of poetry to the inaugural issue of Sugared Water.
Lauren Gordon is the Pushcart Prize nominated author of Meaningful Fingers (Finishing Line Press) and Keen (horse less press). Her work has appeared with Sugar House Review, burntdistrict, Coldfront Magazine, Rain Taxi, Smoking Glue Gun and Poetry Crush. She lives outside of Milwaukee.
a little taste of “I’m Building a New Spine” from SW#001:
out of Himalayan salt;
luminescent pink vertebrae
an unfathomed history.
In this life, I will move with meaning,
move with ferrite light,
I am an Alaskan sky,
SW: What are you currently reading?
LG: Change Machine by Bruce Covey and What is a Domicile by Joanna Penn Cooper. Glowing recommendations all around—very lovely and well-crafted poetry. I’m also reading 123 Magic because my toddler has reached the very special age of two.
SW: What are you working on now?
LG: Right now I am working on organizing and revising a full-length manuscript of poems and also sending out chapbook manuscripts, and another full-length ms to publish. There must be a publisher somewhere interested in Little House on the Prairie persona poems, right?
SW: What writers/works have inspired you?
LG: Louise Gluck’s Wild Iris – I read it while I was in the middle of going through a divorce and it changed my world. What Is Found There by Adrienne Rich is another book I constantly re-read. Mary Oliver’s The Leaf and the Cloud is what I read when I feel uncertain. Martha Zweig’s Vinegar Bone has had a much more profound impact on me since becoming a mother. Francesca Bell is another poet who always knocks the wind out of me.
SW: Where do you seek inspiration?
LG: I love this question for the word “seek” because “finding inspiration” is a misnomer. Poetry is work whether the muse shows up or not. I mostly seek inspiration from reading or working with a prompt, but I love being Facebook friends with presses and poets, because someone is always pointing to a poem and yelling “read this!” And I have learned to take better notes, because I can’t trust my brain to remember anything.
SW: Would you talk a bit about your writing process?
LG: Before I was a mother, I had a very regular writing routine and was naively self-indulgent about my time and my writing. Now I seem to write in bursts and then spend months editing, revising, and workshopping. One of the chapbook manuscripts I am sending out right now (On My Legs, My Heart, My Liver) was written in two days, which is insane. I’ve never done that before. I sat down to write a poem about marriage and addiction, and it became torrential. I also like the torture of NaPoWriMo in April. I work best with deadlines and structure.
SW: With what are you obsessed?
LG: Small presses and publishing. Checking Duotrope manically. Keeping the chipmunks out of my potted plants. With the temporary feeling of being alive. Tactility. The books I read as a kid. Dispelling the notion that poetry isn’t work. Oh, and whole pineapples. I’ve been buying one every week and perfecting my cutting technique.
Poetry Antho: Knocking at the Door (Write Bloody Publishing)