My Next Best Thing Q&A: My next collection of poems

Martha Silano tagged me for this Q&A on my next book. You can go to her blog to read about her next collection (I’ll be tagging T. Clear and Dana Guthrie Martin).

It’s the holidays. It’s the solstice. It’s the end of the world or the beginning of the world and a big wine-tasting party tonight, and yet here’s a moment to think about my next, my forthcoming, project.

What is the working title of your book?

Every time I think I have a title, I think again and want to change it. So far, it’s been through “Patience Is for Other Creatures,” “In Both Hands,” “Swallow the Light,” and “Sky Water Light.” Instead of a working title, I’ll give you an image.

Pond on Lummi Island

Where did the idea come from for the book?

Lummi Island, Washington–and realizing my children were growing up and out of our house.

What genre does your book fall under?


Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

Sharon Stone, Kim Basinger, and Halle Berry could be the furies.
Persephone could be played by Aimee Teegarden
The Oracle of Delphi could be played by Kate Winslet
My husband could be played by Jeff Daniels.
All the horses play themselves.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

Haunted by the middle of middle age, these poems reflect on the past’s fractured hopes and disappointments,  and they ask how to see below the future’s slick surface–how to change and how to write the story from here.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

Three years. I started some of these poems in 2008–but I didn’t feel they were enough. After I started exploring fragments and more fractured narratives, I picked up those poems and completely rewrote them. (That was fun!)

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

Lummi Island. My family. Louise Glück. A class I took from Sarah Vap. Panoramic Easter eggs. Every pond I’ve ever met.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

Well, there’s that oracle:

“…She could be the bad siren, but she whispers delicacies, closes her eyes and opens her body…”

and the horses

and those other gods.