Wombwell Rainbow Interviews: Madison Kalia


Wombwell Rainbow Interviews

I am honoured and privileged that the following writers 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.

Crepe and Penn

Madison Kalia

is a senior at Delta State University where she spends a great deal of time studying poetry and Sally Hemings. When she isn’t writing poetry (or doing homework), she enjoys finding new series to watch on Netflix and listening to Janet Jackson or Jaden Smith. She is the editor for Crepe & Penn (Twitter: @crepeandpenn) and has work published with the Mississippi Poetry Society, Delta Arts Literary Journal and Burning House Press. She loves reading and supporting other artists’ work and can be found on Twitter @MadisonKalia.


The Interview

1. What inspired you to write poetry?

I’ve always been really in touch with my sensibilities, and for a while, I thought fiction-writing was the best way to express or release all those heavy, intense feelings I carried with me everyday, but when I started reading poetry (I mean really reading poetry, like, with real intent, not just because I like to read just anything), I thought that poetry might be a better medium for my writing style, and it was. It is. So, I write poetry.

2. Who introduced you to poetry?

I honestly don’t think it took, like, one introduction. I think it was really more like every writing- or reading-oriented person I’ve ever been fond of has introduced me to poetry because there’s more than just one side to poetry, you know? The people that come to mind first, though, are my tenth and eleventh grade English teachers, Coach Jackson and Mrs. Grice, and one of my current professors, whom I’ll just call Prof. E.

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

Not too aware, really. I mean, of course, I knew of their presence, but I wouldn’t say they have a dominating presence in my mind. I have a terrible habit of finding poets that I like and never reading anything outside of their work until someone makes me, so I read a lot of newer peoples’ things.

4. What is your daily writing routine?

What routine? Ha! I don’t write everyday, and I don’t think my writing would be any good if I did. There are days that come maybe every few weeks where I write prolifically about everything I’ve been feeling in the time between my writings, and that’s it. I think that if I were to write everyday, the emotion in my writing would become diluted or tired. I’d become tired.

5. What motivates you to write?

Overwhelm. I hold everything until I can’t hold anymore, and that’s when I write. No sooner than that.

6. What is your work ethic?

My work ethic is heavily dependent on what the work is. If it has to do with Sally Hemings, injustice, politics, poetry or gothic things, I can be up all night for it. Anything else, I’m going to have a hard time getting out of my seat for it. As a matter of fact, I’ll probably forget the work even exists.

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

Not at all. I don’t even know how I got through half the things I read when I was young. My God, it’s all so boring now–and plain! It’s almost as though I had no sense of lyricism or creativity because I look back at some of the books I used to read and those authors should have been writing textbooks, not novels. Well, I guess I could say they’ve moved me to try my hardest to be riveting.

8. Who of today’s writers do you admire the most and why?

I love April Genevieve Tucholke. She’s absolutely brilliant, and has a whimsical but solid style, and I think that if I could situate my style somewhere between hers and Sylvia Plath’s, I’d be precisely where I want to be, and I’d never write again.

9. Why do you write, as opposed to doing anything else?

I love making people feel things. I love being able to make someone experience something without ever having to live through it.

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

Sell your soul to every piece of paper you pick up.

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

I’m working on a couple of things. I’ve been planning my first chapbook, which I’m super-excited about, of course, and I’m working on a fairly poetic novel. I have no idea where either one of these projects will go, but I’m ready for all the ups and downs, for sure.

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