Today’s the last day to submit your poem or story and have it be considered for Issue 7, so keep adding to the deluge that’s hit my inbox in the past 48 hours. Also, to tide you over until Issue 7’s been released, here’s our interview with Jennifer Jackson Berry.
Describe your work in 25 words or less:
My work is my truth. And to paraphrase Muriel Rukeyser, I want to split the world open with it.
Tell me about your poem “Another Poem About Infertility:”
The first stanza was in my head for a long time. Once I finally got it out of my head, the rest came quickly. I liked the “this, until not this” construction as a way to try to make sense of the perplexing issue of infertility, as well as the word “another” in the title pointing to the idea that dealing with infertility is often a long, drawn out process. I gave the poem to a writer-friend for his critique, and he said this doesn’t have to be an infertility poem. It’s just a great sex poem. But at the time I wrote it, the two were intertwined too deeply for me to not direct the reader with the title.
What authors have influenced you as a writer?
There were three collections that were very important to me in my early college years, when I first started writing poetry seriously: Mad River by Jan Beatty, Girl Soldier by Denise Duhamel, and Satan Says by Sharon Olds. All three women continued on in their own careers to write many more stunning collections, each one inspiring in its own way.
Do you have a blog/website?
I try to maintain a tumblr: http://www.jaxnberry.tumblr.com, but don’t always do that much with it. I’m always on facebook though: https://www.facebook.com/jennifer.j.berry.
Where can we read you next?
My e-chapbook When I Was a Girl was just published with Sundress Publications (http://sundresspublications.com/echaps.htm). I have poems appearing in upcoming issues of Cider Press Review, Up the Staircase Quarterly, Nerve Cowboy, Lilliput Review, and Iodine Poetry Journal, as well as the online feature Chapter & Verse of the Pittsburgh City Paper.
What are you working on right now?
I’m revising my full length manuscript, tentatively titled To the Pith; I hope to send it out to contests and open readings periods in the next few months.
Any advice for other writers?
Find a community! The act of writing is often a solitary, lonely experience, but I rely on my fellow writers to find sanity.
Anything else you’d like to say?
Thank you to Bop Dead City and Kevin Rodriguez for giving a home to my poem.