THINGS WE’RE DYING TO KNOW…
Let’s start with the book’s title and your cover image. How did you choose each? And, if I asked you to describe or sum up your book, what three words immediately come to mind?
Spider with wings is from one of the poems. It captured the real and surreal that is present in this book. The publisher designed the cover. I had input, but only made minor changes. Raw, dark, magical.
What were you trying to achieve with your book? Tell us about the world you were trying to create, and who lives in it.
The challenge was to create a collection of short poems. All of the poems are 14 lines or less. I wanted to bring myth to life in a contemporary context. This world has blue babies, a siren, St. Francis, a mermaid, Izmir, and many others.
Can you describe your writing practice or process for this collection? Do you have a favorite revision strategy?
These poems are a collage of dreams, overheard conversations, life experiences (mine or others), and myth. I wrote the poems as the fragments happened creating several images in each poem. There’s no punctuation, but a few capital letters to allow the fragments to become a collage. I read the poems out loud to revise.
How did you order the poems? Do you have a specific method for arranging your poems or is it sort of haphazard, like you lay the pages out on the floor and see what order you pick them back up in?
I do like to spread the poems out on a table or on the floor. I look at the pronouns to get a flow of who is speaking. In this case, there’s a subtext of a siren speaking across the poems. I worked on this secondary narrative in selecting the poems that would be in the book and the order.
What do you love to find in a poem you read, or love to craft into a poem you’re writing?
Can you share an excerpt from your book? And tell us why you chose this poem for us to read – did it galvanize the writing of the rest of the collection? Is it your book’s heart? Is it the first or last poem you wrote for the book?
This is the first poem in the book. It was the first poem of the collection to be published by a literary magazine. It was in The Wayfarer and they put a beautiful photograph with it. This poem is a portal into the book.
Chinese wind chimes
vibrate through my
bones Kheura salt
mines you sing
a siren coaxing
me black and gray
in my front yard
as ash smoothes
my hands touching brine
I feel the energy
while the orange spider builds a web
only to rip it each night
before the pink sun
If you had to convince someone walking by you in the park to read your book right then and there, what would you say?
This book of poems is a collage of images. People are relating to different parts of the book. Find which parts speak to you.
For you, what is it to be a poet? What scares you most about being a writer? Gives you the most pleasure?
Being a poet allows me to express myself beyond words and has brought me into an amazing community. Taking the risk to set up readings and hope people attend can be scary. Encouraging other writers and seeing someone in the audience connecting to the poems.
Are there other types of writing (dictionaries, romance novels, comics, science textbooks, etc.) that help you to write poetry?
I like to read fiction and essays besides lots of poetry. I also write books that are about other cultures and their myths. I like to read their stories.
What are you working on now?
A small collection based on the All-Seeing Eye.
What book are you reading that we should also be reading?
A Hundred Million Years of Nectar Dances by Richard Jarette
Without stopping to think, write a list of five poets whose work you would tattoo on your body, or at least write in permanent marker on your clothing, to take with you at all times.
Eric Baus, Nicelle Daves, Wendy Xu, Marianne Moore, Anne Carson
What’s a question you wish I asked? (And how would you answer it?)
How exciting is it to have your first book of poems? I want to pinch myself often to believe that this and other poetry books I’ve written are being published.
Purchase Spider With Wings from www.fiberverse.com (for a signed copy) or Amazon.com.
Cindy Rinne creates art and writes in San Bernardino, CA. She brings myth to life in contemporary context. Cindy is the author of spider with wings (Jamii Publishing), Quiet Lantern is forthcoming (Turning Point), Breathe in Daisy, Breathe out Stones is forthcoming (FutureCycle Press), and she co-authored Speaking Through Sediment with Michael Cooper (ELJ Publications). Her poem, “Mapping” was nominated for the Liakoura Award by Pirene’s Fountain. She is a translator. Find her online at www.fiberverse.com and
Nicole Rollender is a poet, editor and seeker.