5 BURNING QUESTIONS WITH JOANNA C. VALENTE

  1. What is your first memory of writing for fun?

I was 11 and listening to Tori Amos and pouring over her liner notes and had just read some Emily Dickinson poems, because I was a really cool 11-year-old with lots of friends (not). So, I did what all baby poets do and wrote a poem about the moon.

  1. How many drafts = done?

To be honest, I don’t have any hard and fast rules about drafts. Sometimes, I write one draft, and then sometimes I write 20 drafts. It really ranges for me. On average, I would say about one or two drafts after I’ve had a decent amount of time separating me having written the poem and the editing process. I think, for me, the most important part of the editing process is taking time away from the poem, so I can have less bias and more clarity.

  1. What is your favorite book or favorite book-of-the-moment?

Mrs. Dalloway or Orlando by Virginia Woolf. There’s just so much in there.

  1. What is it about your discipline that gets you the most excited?

Having a “small” amount of space in order to create a narrative, a cinematic moment of sorts, and then abstract it and muddle it up a little. I feel like poems are films that were stomped on a few times.

  1. What’s your favorite word or words? What about it/them appeals to you?

Stuff. I love the word stuff because it’s so informal and can be used colloquially, like seastuff.

Bonus question: What kind of people do you most enjoy associating with, and what is your favorite type of sandwich?

Punks. I love anyone who is a rebel, who sees life differently, who fights for their beliefs, who doesn’t believe in the status quo. My favorite type of sandwich is definitely an open-faced tuna melt.

~

Moon poems = best poems. Thank you for sharing, Joanna!

Writers & Words is coming up fast this Tuesday, February 13th at 7pm at Charmington’s Cafe with our first reading of 2018. It’s going to be a good year, I can tell already. See you all Tuesday, and be sure to check out the event and our other rad readers on the old bookface here!

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