Wombwell Rainbow Interviews: Razielle Aigen

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 fiction writers you may know, others may be new to you. I hope you enjoy the experience as much as I do.

Raizelle

Razielle Aigen

is a Montreal-born writer and artist. Her chapbook, “Light Waves The Leaves” is forthcoming from above/ground press (2020). Her poems appear in Entropy, Deluge, Contemporary Verse 2, Bad Dog Review, Dovecote Magazine, Half a Grapefruit, Sewer Lid, Five:2:One, California Quarterly, and elsewhere. Razielle holds a B.A. in History and Contemporary Studies from Dalhousie/King’s University, and is an alumna of The Writer’s Studio at Simon Fraser University. More of Razielle’s work can be found at razielleaigen.com  and through Twitter @ohthepoetry .

The Interview

1. What inspired you  to write poetry?

To be honest, it just sort of happened…I can’t recall any definitive reflexive “a-ha!” moment where I caught myself thinking, “I am a poet” or “I will now write a poem”. Really, it jus sort of happened and continues to happen in that way that feels more like a biological function than volition. That thing that you just can’t help, like a sneeze…maybe you feel a little tickle, and then, it just happens! At best you can hope for somebody to be around afterwards to read it and say, “bless you”… even if that somebody is only you.

2. Who introduced you to poetry?

There was a lot of exposure to the Bible in my childhood home…Despite my adamant teenage tooth and nail rebellion against all attempts at religious indoctrination, despite that teenage self, my early encounters with tales rich in symbolic metaphors and imaginative language, not to mention the gamut of human drama and natural catastrophe of (literally) biblical proportion, has, in part, helped to shape some aspects of my poetic imagination.

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

You mean, like a Bloomian “Anxiety of Influence”-type-thing? Well, I try not to fall in to patterns of domination / deferral…I definitely respect and admire older poets, but I feel equal reverence for many of my contemporaries. My attitude towards older poets is one of gratitude, I receive their words as gifts that keep on giving…their words inspire me to write, keeping the great wheel of Poetry turning…a self-generative turbine!

4. What is your daily writing routine?

I don’t really have one! As long as a little reading and writing happens, it’s been a good writing day.

5. What motivates you to write?

The small things: Simple beauty. A moment of the uncanny. Something funny. A meaningful encounter.

6. What is your work ethic?

I hope that by writing I add a little good into world.

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

Having read the Surrealists and Beat poets gave me an appreciation for tapping into the magical, incantatory and energetic aspects of language that act as a vehicle to transcend the mundane, which is, in some sense, perhaps one possible definition of the Poetic.

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

So many incredible writers today the world over! It would be hard to single anyone out without excluding so many. I think that the democratizing factor of the internet and online publishing has made it possible to be exposed to a multitude of new voices that would have otherwise been tucked under a rock of obscurity…I’m wowed every day by a new poet I would have never discovered if it weren’t for the online networks I’m tapped into.

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

It’s probably just my default setting. At some point I may need an upgrade…

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

Write!

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

I’m also a visual artist…and I’m currently at work on a eco-poetic text-based installation, programmed to be showcased as part of a collaborative interdisciplinary event July 2020 in Montreal.

2 thoughts on “Wombwell Rainbow Interviews: Razielle Aigen

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