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.
Justene Dion-Glowa is a bi, emerging poet from Canada. Her work has been featured in Burning House Press and Fevers of the Mind Poetry & Art Digest. She is a contributor to the The Poetry Question and curates a quarterly literary magazine with her indie publishing house 3 Moon Independent Publishing. Her first poetry chapbook and memoir are forthcoming.
Twitter: @gee_justy or @3moonpublishing
Instagram: @jdgwrites or @3moonpublishing
1. What inspired you to write poetry?
I think initially, when I was much younger, poetry was a way to address serious issues in a playful way. Now that I am older, I feel that I may have replaced the playfulness with cynicism. But I think putting out cynical work can help make day-to-day life more livable. These are dark times, and putting the darkness on paper can make it easier to see the light.
2. Who introduced you to poetry?
I can’t pinpoint a specific person. I was just a voracious reader, and fell in love with darker poetry like that of Edgar Allan Poe first. Once I realized that poetry didn’t have to be all sunshine and rainbows, I think I sought out more classic poems.
3. How aware were you of the dominating presence of older poets?
Very. I still read that type of work today. While I’m sure it’s not obvious, it’s the work of Poe and T.S. Eliot and even Shakespeare’s sonnets that really inspired me to keep writing poetry. There was something universal in what they were saying, but it was also so clear they were recalling some specific situation. There was a beauty in that level of communication that appealed to me, and still does.
4. What is your daily writing routine?
I can’t say I have a steady routine. My life is too hectic for that right now. I just make writing a priority. Some days I plan to write and I don’t at all. Some days I don’t plan to write and I end up with a ton of material. Making it a priority works for me. I always carry around notebooks too, just in case I’m on the go and inspiration hits. I also try to immerse myself in it. I write reviews of poetry, I constantly submit to literary magazines; I just make this the focal point in my life.
5. What motivates you to write?
I think it’s the knowledge that no one experience in your life is truly your own, and yet you’re 100% unique in how that experience shapes you. The human experience, I suppose.
6. What is your work ethic?
I have a “throw them to the wolves” ethic, in that if I don’t let it completely take over my life, it isn’t going to happen. I am deeply passionate and unless I am committed fully to something, I cannot continue to do it.
7. How do the writers you read when you were young influence you today?
I think the thing that influenced my beyond what any author could was the firm belief of every person in my life that I was not “too young” to understand or read anything. I was always assumed to be able to read whatever I wanted, no matter the subject or complexity, and that lead to me reading incredible books at a young age. That influences me today because when I think about my writing, I know I can do it and that others will value it. It’s just got to find it’s audience.8. Who of today’s writers do you admire the most and why?
I honestly love YA authors right now. The material coming out of that scene is fearless, incredible, and representational. But I love how many literary magazines are out there right now. I get to read so much incredible work because of people volunteering to curate it for the public. That’s a beautiful thing.
9. Why do you write, as opposed to doing anything else?
Writing is an exercise in processing to me. I do not process my reality the way others do, although, I can’t say definitively why. I liken it to a full plate. My body is so full of unprocessed experiences and trauma, it doesn’t seem to matter how much I take off that plate, there is always another helping coming. When my plate is empty, I guess I will stop.
10. What would you say to someone who asked you “How do you become a writer?”
You have to practice. And then you have to be willing to detach yourself from your own work because you need to edit it with an eye that’s not your own. Prose and poetry can be deeply personal, but it is so important to be relentless in pursuing the real voice and message of a piece.
11. Tell me about the writing projects you have on at the moment.
I am currently working on a personal memoir called “Chuck”. I have nearly completed my first chapbook of poetry, which is entitled “Trailer Park Shakes”. I write reviews for The Poetry Question and I curate a literary magazine called 3 Moon Magazine and Independent Publishing. We offer small-batch independent publishing as well as editing, transcription and audio book recording services.