Wombwell Rainbow Interviews: Ann Christine Tabaka

Wombwell Rainbow Interviews

I am honoured and privileged that the following poets, local, national and international have agreed to be interviewed by me. I gave the writers two options: an emailed list of questions or a more fluid interview via messenger.
The usual ground is covered about motivation, daily routines and work ethic, but some surprises too. Some of these poets you may know, others may be new to you. I hope you enjoy the experience as much as I do.
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Ann Christine Tabaka

According to her Goodreads site Ann Christine Tabaka is a nominee for the 2017 Pushcart Prize in Poetry.
She was selected as Poet of the Month for January 2018, and interviewed by Kingdoms in the Wild. She lives in Delaware, USA. She is a published poet and artist. She loves gardening and cooking. Chris lives with her husband and two cats. Her most recent credits are Page & Spine, The Paragon Journal, The Literary Hatchet, The Stray Branch, Trigger Fish Critical Review, Foliate Oak Review, Bindweed Magazine, The Metaworker, Raven Cage Ezine, RavensPerch, Anapest Journal, Mused, Apricity Magazine, Longshot Island, The Write Launch, The Stray Branch, Scryptic Magazine Ann Arbor Review.
*(a complete list of publications is available upon request)

The Interview
1. What were the circumstances under which you began to write poetry?

ACT: It was 1965.  I was 14 when I wrote my first poem.  I was more interested in visual arts and was planning on being an art major.  In fact, I did not care for reading or literature at all at the time.  The Vietnam War was on most of our minds with family and loved ones being drafted daily.  My first poem was “The Young Soldier” about a soldier being away from home at Christmas time.  Our Junior High School printed a journal every year at Christmas and everyone was offered the chance to enter a drawing, story, poem, or cartoon.  For some reason, writing a poem just seemed right at that time.  And so it began.

2. Who introduced you to poetry?

ACT:  We were forced to memorize poems in grammar school.  I still can recite most of Trees by Joyce Kilmer.  I never really did care for poetry until I started to write it myself, in my own
words. Even today, I will read poetry by my poet friends, but there are very few famous poets that I have read any of their works.

3. How aware were you of the dominating presence of older poets?

ACT:  Quite frankly, not at all!  Since I did not connect with any other poets until I was in my mid -60s, just a few years ago.  I was not aware of any poets, older or otherwise.  Since 2017, I have joined many online poetry groups, especially on Facebook.  Now, I notice that there are talented and successful poets of every age.  In fact, I have noticed that some of the most successful as far as being published and selling books are in their 20s right now.

4. What is your daily writing routine?

ACT:  I do not have a daily routine.  Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night with an idea, and the light goes on and I write all night long.  Other times I go days without writing while I keep busy in my gardens, with my exercise, and cooking.  Whenever a thought enters my mind, I stop whatever it is that I am doing to write it down.  I constantly keep a notepad and pen at hand everywhere I go.  And yes. I write in pen on paper every time.  The only time I ever use the computer is when I feel a poem is ready to be put into a form to submit or go into one of my books.  And I never use my cell phone for writing.  I am very old fashioned when it comes to creating.   I guess that is because I am old.

5. What motivates you to write?

ACT: Just about anything and everything.  Since I am so involved with nature, it is a big part of what inspires me.  Also, feelings and emotions play a big part in what I write.  I will not go into details, but I had a very traumatic childhood, and several badly failed relationships, so I find solace and comfort in venting when things bother me.  Writing has become a release and a blessing.  It has a calming influence on me.

6. What is your work ethic?

ACT:  My work ethic has changed over the years as I have aged.  I used to be a real go-getter.  I was passionate about everything.  Now, I have learned to pick and choose what works best for me
and for my family.  Too many times in the past I have driven my family crazy with my anxiety over things that I thought were so important, only to find out later that they were not.  Now I try to be more easy-going about most things.  Although I must admit I can still go quite bonkers when I get a
bee in my bonnet about an idea that I want to work on.

7. How do the writers you read when you were young influence you today?

ACT:  AS I mentioned before, I did not read much.  I did not like to read, so I cannot say that they influenced me at all.  I do love to read now, but mostly fun novels and my friends’ poetry books.

8. Why do you write?

ACT:  I am sure that you must hear this from every writer and poet out there – I write because I feel I have to.  It is who I am and what I am.  I identify with my words.  I write so that my words will be
out there in the world, so that they will continue to live, even after I no longer do.

9. What would you say to someone who asked you “How do you become a writer?”

ACT:  WRITE!  Just keep writing.  Scribble down a word here, and a line there, and when you look back you will start to see that they will come together in a thought or pattern.  There is not magic formula.  You just keep writing because you love to do it.  If you happen to become known as a writer someday, Bravo for you.  But, you can always be a writer to yourself.  That is what is
important, to write for yourself.

10. Tell me about the writing projects you have on at the moment.

ACT:  I just finished having a book of micro-poems published by Cyberwit.net.  I am thrilled to be working with them.  Right now, I am writing new poems and new micro poems, and hope to have more books someday, but I think I need to take deep breath and slow down for now.  I will
continue to write to submit to journals, but I have published 7 poetry books within the past 2 years and I need to thank about what is next for me.  Also, I do not want to abuse my friends who have loving supported me by always purchasing my books.  Time to take a rest and just write for fun,learning new techniques, and challenging myself.

Thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to share a little about myself with such intriguing questions.  You made me think about things in a different way than before.  I even learned something new about myself.

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