LF: Do you remember writing your first poem? CN: As a child I remember trying to find words to rhyme with my first name. "Banana peel," was one I came up with. After that I didn't write until my mid-20's when I took a creative writing class.
LF: Who or what are some of your favorite creative influences? CN: Music was a big influence in my teens, I was into heavy metal mostly as it fit into my angry emotions back then. Today it varies, I can be influenced by a well written poem, a striking image, photo, music or art. And of course, Chris Bursk. Without him, I wouldn't be a poet today.
LF: Could you describe your creative process for writing poetry? CN: Typically I'll witness something that evokes an emotion then I'll try to capture that emotion on the page. Also, other poems inspire me, whether it's a line in the poem, the form/shape of the poem, or subject-matter.
LF: At what point do you decide to stop revising your work? CN: Ha! Never!
LF: What are you working on now? CN: When I first started writing, the poems were more about processing negative events that happened when I was young. Now that I've got more years behind me than ahead, the poems are more about finding the joys in the past, more reflective. Also, I'm always drawn to bugs, birds, trees, all nature really.
LF: Why is poetry important in the world? CN: I believe poetry is where we turn to when we don't have the answers otherwise.
LF: What do you hope readers take away from your poetry? CN: One of my first readings, I read a poem about a sexual assault and afterward, many women thanked me for reading it, that it inspired them, even gave them "permission" to write their own experiences. That was when I realized poetry was about connection. I hope readers connect with my poems.