What are some highlights from your poetry podcast “Alternaverse,” and what can listeners expect to hear when tuning in?
One of my favorite moments from Alternaverse was when my co-host Annie and I close-read a poem comic by Paul K. Tunis with him on air. It was a special experience, sharing an interpretation of an artwork with the creator. Paul was super generous and encouraging during the process, too. He’s a gem. When a listener tunes in to Alternaverse, they can expect to hear two dorks in love with poetry gush about the subject. They can expect to witness two poets search the reaches of contemporary poetry for interesting and varied voices. And they can expect us to have a blast.
In addition to poetry, you also have a way with collage art. From where do you pull images and inspiration for these pieces?
Thank you for noticing the poem collages! They have been challenging, but fun. I have no training as a visual artist. I love a chaotic, colorful background because I think that’s where creativity comes from, a vast oceanic vibe. A lot of the images are personal symbols. I use butterflies a lot because butterflies are beautiful creatures with a wild, utterly transformative life cycle. They represent a hard reset, which a lot of people look for in their own lives, mine included. I like sequins and sparkles because while they are small they still draw the eye. Lots can be made from sequin patterns. I’m always on a hunt for more collage imagery.
Lately, you have been printing and posting your poems in different public spaces. What is your thought process behind finding locations and choosing which poems to share?
The posted poems started as an homage to Wilmington, my hometown. The poems are guided by memories, and those memories have their roots in the city. I let those memories guide the posting. Recently I put up a poem about the Greek Goddess Psyche in front of Cab Calloway, the place where I graduated high school. It was also a place where I really dug into writing poetry when I was a teenager. It seemed right to honor that place with a poem about the soul.
This may be a tough question, but do you have an all-time favorite poem (by a poet other than yourself)?
This is not a tough question at all! My favorite poem written in English is “A Blessing” by James Wright. I am shaken by it every time I read it. It’s composed of simple yet graceful language that reaches a startling epiphany. The poem has its own eternal spirit.
Do you have any upcoming projects?
I’m currently working on more poems that meditate on mythology, like the ones I have been posting. I also have ecopoetry that I’ve been turning into poem collages. There is also a fragmented book-length poem about Wilmington I’m writing. I’d like to take poetry to film, too.
Will your readings at the Summer Exhibition event on July 24th follow a certain theme?
I’d like there to be a “celebrate Wilmington” theme with what I read at the Summer Exhibition. It’s such a wonderful thing to be a part of, this group of Delaware artists, and I’d like my fondness for the city to be expressed. It’s where I’m from!