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.
Ingrid M. Calderon-Collins
is an immigrant from El Salvador. She studied journalism at Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut, CA. Her work has been featured in Drunk Monkeys, Rabid Oak, and Rhythm & Bones Lit, among others. She is also the author of five volumes of poetry, Things Outside, Wayward, Zenith, Ablution and El Destino de Abril. She lives in Historic Filipinotown, CA with her husband, painter, and poet, John Collins.
1.) When and why did you start writing poetry?
I started to write in a general journal-esque way at age nine after a motorcycle accident left me bedridden. But writing poetry in a ritualistic way began at age 33.
2.) What inspired you to write poetry?
My inspiration to write poetry is my way of trying to make sense of the human condition and the circumstances in and around me in a succinct and powerful way.
3.) Who introduced you to poetry?
My 6th grade teacher Mr. Guy introduced me to poetry by making every single person in his class recite a poem in front of the class. I chose “My Shadow,” by Robert Louis Stevenson.
4.) How aware were you of the dominating presence of older poets?
I never felt a poet’s presence as a child I suppose, but I did always have a great affinity to songwriting which I would argue is some of the best poetry if done with fervor and soul.
5.) What is your daily writing routine?
Usually, I write better at night but I try to write notes to myself throughout the day so that when night comes, I can remember the things that fluttered through my mind. Key words put me back to the time and place I thought of it.
6.) What motivates you to write?
Motivation is iffy because we are not usually able to turn it on when we want, so I mostly prefer the mundane act of being motivated by everyday life and everyday ups and downs.
7.) What is your work ethic?
I write everyday. Be it a poem, a journal entry or a recorded rant that I can later transcribe, I try to stay focused on the fact that writing is what brings me joy even if I am not particularly joyful through my day.
8.) How do the writers you read when you were young influence you today?
I absolutely carry around the writers I read in my youth as apparitions in my writing. I don’t mimic, I use them as guidelines and examples of how to tap into a part of myself that I sometimes neglect.
9.) Why do you write, as opposed to doing anything else?
I don’t like to dabble. Not in writing, love or friendships. I do things because I feel them, enjoy them or want them. Otherwise, I don’t even bother.
10.) What would you say to someone who asked you “How do you become a writer?”
You don’t just become a writer, although honing is indeed part of the process, you just have to commit yourself to it like you would a marriage. Till death do you part.
11.) Tell me about the writing projects you have on at the moment.
I have a recently released collaboration with Katie Doherty from Black Opium Press entitled, “A Second Birth.” It is a collection of essays that touch on childhood, creativity, love, and identity. I also have a novelette coming out next year with APEP Publications entitled, “my ministry,” that I wrote while I was detoxing from cigarettes in February of this year. It is a meditation and lullaby spoken through prose and poetry between the protagonist, Christ and Satan. A peril into the dichotomy of the human condition as a background to discovering and finding love in a world lacking it. Lastly, a poetry and prose memoir entitled, “Let the Buzzards Eat Me Whole,” will be published by Arkay Artists and due out this December. It is a memoir summoned in poetic prose and poems. An out of body experience told by the child turned woman protagonist. It is a story of emigration, perversion, culture shock, and mending. It is the shattering of ideals put upon by society and the eventual perpetual ripening of self.