Interview for the Wombwell Rainbow, January 5, 2019
Thank you Paul Brookes for your interview.
Patricia Carragon’s recent publications include Bear Creek Haiku, First Literary Review-East, A Gathering of the Tribes, The Café Review, Muddy River Poetry Review, Poetrybay, and Krytyka Literacka. Herlatest books are The Cupcake Chronicles (Poets Wear Prada, 2017) and Innocence (Finishing Line Press, 2017). Patricia hosts the Brooklyn-based Brownstone Poets and is the editor-in-chief of its annual anthology. She is an executive editor for Home Planet News
1. What inspired you to write poetry?
As a child, I would write and illustrate a make-believe newspaper. However, I wasn’t encouraged to write until the early ’90s when I wrote witty pitches for my Brunch ’n Fun social activities at St. Bartholomew’s Church in Manhattan. One friend encouraged me to explore my literary muse. Another friend said that my eulogy for Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis had poetic resonance.
2. Who introduced you to poetry?
As a child, I admired Emily Dickinson, but found it impossible to write poetry. It was until my adult years that I started writing, thanks to people who believed that I have the gift for words.
3. How aware were you of the dominating presence of older poets?
Starting out on the poetry circuit in the Fall of 2003, most of the poets were older. I’ve befriended several older poets who offered guidance and support. They taught me what I needed to learn, therefore grooming me to be the poet that I am today.
4. What is your daily writing routine?
I don’t have a daily routine, because, unlike some writers, I don’t need it. I have a very busy schedule between my job, life, my Brownstone Poets Reading series, et al. When I don’t have the time to sit down and focus on my craft, I need not worry, because when I do, my muse works overtime.
5. What motivates you to write?
Dreams, listening to music, riding the subways, and life’s experiences.
6. What is your work ethic?
My work ethic is constant. I’m always in motion, whether it may be writing, working at my job, cleaning house, running errands, cooking, baking, snapping pictures, and more. I like to keep busy and as a night owl, I tend to do my best work at night.
7. How do the writers you read when you were young influence you today?
When I read works by Emily Dickinson, William Butler Yeats, and Fyodor Dostoyevsky, I’ve learned that metaphors and words express emotion. Sometimes, you can say less and mean more, like Ernest Hemingway and Matsuo Basho, especially in writing haiku.
8. Who of today’s writers do you admire the mostand why?
I’m into books by Japanese novelist Haruki Murakami. I can relate to his work since I’m currently exploring my usage of dreams and the metaphysical world in my poems, haiku, and fiction.
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