I spoke with featured poet, Arlene Geller, about her poetry writing process and inspirations. Here's what she shared.
LF: Do you remember writing your first poem? AG: Not sure about my first poem, but I do know that I have expressed myself through poetry from a very early age. It was a way to release my feelings since we didn’t share emotions in my childhood home.
LF: Who are some of your favorite poetic influences? AG: Leonard Cohen, Sylvia Plath, Anne Sexton, Ntozake Shange, Billy Collins…
LF: Could you describe your creative process for writing poetry? AG: Inspiration, for me, comes from disparate places—such as nature, memories, headlines, and conversations. I often turn to photographs, paintings, and sculptures for inspiration, so I’d have to say that ekphrastic poetry speaks to me since I so admire art. Occasionally, the muse whispers poems in my ear and I wake up with a first draft.
LF: At what point do you decide to stop revising your work? AG: Sometimes a poem just feels right, or at least it seems as though I said what I need to at a particular time. Even so, some poems do beg for a revisit in the future, so perhaps revising never really does end.
LF: What are you working on now? AG: I recently finished writing lyrics for a composition that will be premiered on Rosh Hashanah (9/16/23) in Dallas, Texas. It is tremendously exciting to hear my words come to life through song.
LF: Why is poetry important in the world? AG: Poetry encapsulates images in a concise way that I believe makes them more accessible to others. As I alluded to above, poetry paints pictures with words.
LF: What do you hope readers take away from your poems? AG: That poetry is an art form open to all! From my own poems, I hope readers see more beauty in the word and, in sharing my emotions, realize that they are not alone.