Enjoy reading this interview with featured poet, Diana Loercher Pazicky.
LF: Do you remember writing your first poem? What was it about? DP: Yes. In eighth grade, I was inspired by a flower struggling to survive in a high wind. I wrote a quasi “lyric” sonnet with a neo-Victorian moral to pay tribute!
LF: Could you tell us about the inspiration for your new poetry book? DP: I enjoy thinking about the complex meanings and the connotations of words we take for granted, such as “else.” The genesis of my chapbook, Or Else, derived from the title poem in which I play with the conventional meaning of that phrase as a threat and use it instead to suggest the myriad choices and alternatives that lie before us.
LF: What are some of your favorite creative influences? DP: I was always an avid reader and fell in love with language at an early age. My mother, who read the dictionary for pleasure, was undoubtedly an influence. I loved reading poetry out loud and memorizing it, and later I discovered the musical possibilities embedded in meter and rhythm (Longfellow’s “This is the forest primeval, the murmuring pines and the hemlock...”) and in such devices as alliteration that can create not only music but a mood, in this case sadness: (Shakespeare’s “When to sessions of sweet silent thought I summon up remembrance of things past...”). The recent poet whom I most admire is Elizabeth Bishop.
LF: Could you describe your writing process? DP: It varies. Occasionally (rarely!) a poem springs forth and virtually writes itself. More often I get an idea or a phrase comes to mind that seems to have potential, so I scribble a note or store it in my iphone. I procrastinate starting a poem because I am always filled with dread that I won’t be able to write it or that it won’t be any good.
LF: At what point do you decide to stop revising your work? DP: I am rarely satisfied with the final product and feel that I could revise to eternity. I stop revising a poem when when the reality principle announces that it’s as good as it’s going to get.
LF: Why is poetry important? DP: Poetry is important because it is revelatory.
LF: What do you hope readers take away from your poetry? DP: Pleasure, insight, identification, recognition, amusement – any reaction that signifies a positive connection.