Jessica Gregg is one of our featured writers at our November 12th reading. Check out our interview with her below.
What is your first memory of writing for fun?
Hmm … I was an editor with our high school newspaper, and technically I received school credit for that. But it was fun, too. I liked collaborating with others, but I also liked crafting my assigned stories. That’s when I knew I would major in journalism.
How many drafts = done?
It’s never done. I can always tinker, and I love to tinker! This is why deadlines are critical.
What is your favorite book or favorite book-of-the-moment?
Three books: “American Herstory,” from celeste doaks; “The Best American Poetry of 2018;” and a memoir by Kate Braestrup called, “Here If You Need Me.” The last one is a repeat that I reread every few years. It’s about a woman who becomes a chaplain for the Maine Warden Service. It reminds me of time I spent reporting from or living in small communities.
What is it about your discipline that gets you the most excited?
Playing with language. In my day job, it’s important to convey information clearly. Poetry, on the other hand, lets me use images and word play to convey a mood or theme. I am still there chiseling with words, but there are no boundaries.
What’s your favorite word or words? What about it/them appeals to you?
I had a whole poem of favorite words that I wrote years ago – it was like a save-for-rainy-day word list. Some of those words were crystalline and sfumato, majestic and electric. Some words I like because of how they sound, but some I think look so pretty on a page. That’s a total geek writer thing.
Bonus question: what fictional wedding would you most want to attend, if any? This can be one you read about in a book, saw in a movie, or one you think would be really rad (like if Godzilla married King Kong, but something more creative than that).
I would like to go back in time for a big posh Hollywood wedding, but without studio interference. Rock Hudson’s Big Fat Gay Wedding, for example, comes to mind. Think of the guest list! Also, imagine the wicked jokes that Doris Day probably told after a few martinis. Seat me next to her.
Jessica Gregg is the editor of Baltimore Style and Baltimore’s Child magazines. Her chapbook, “News from This Lonesome City” was published this year by Finishing Line Press. She is a recent Writer in Residence for the Highlandtown Arts District and lives in the same house where her father grew up. She has two children, both of whom are taller than her.