Each day in April, in honor of National Poetry Month and our third anniversary issue (find out how to get a copy HERE), we are running an interview with a poet who has been published in Gyroscope Review. With this interview, we wrap up our series and thank our participating poets. And we thank you, too, for reading and sharing these interviews. We hope you found them inspiring; perhaps they encouraged you to pick up a new poetry publication for yourself.
And, now, for the final interview in our series for 2018.
National Poetry Month Interview Series: Interview with Poet Jacqueline Jules
How will you celebrate National Poetry Month? I will attend local poetry readings and be involved with a local initiative called Splendid Wake which celebrates the history of DC area poets.
Pen, pencil or computer first? Usually, computer. I often use images which require a bit of research before I begin. I like to focus my poems on a concrete image so I will Google the image or idea first.
Who/what are your influences? Spoon River Anthology by Edgar Lee Masters. I remember reading this book in high school and being very intrigued by the way this series of free verse poems created an atmosphere akin to a novel. Since then, I have always enjoyed collections of linked poems, which carry a particular narrative.
What topic is the hardest for you to write about and why? While being outside in nature feeds my soul, I don’t write a lot of nature poetry. It is hard to describe the natural world without cliché or imagery used more successfully by big name poets.
What was the worst writing idea you ever had? There are no bad writing ideas. Some ideas are simply waiting to mature into the best arrangement of words.
What authors do you love right now? I recently read What Blooms in Winter by Maria Mazziotti Gillan and totally fell in love with it.
What is the most important role of poets in 2018? We have become an impatient society. We like soundbites. We like to read on our phones. Poetry can offer a literary moment readers can experience while standing in a grocery store line. Poems should be brief and accessible to the average reader. We shouldn’t need a key to unlock the meaning of a poem.
Where do you go when you need to recharge? I take walks around the neighborhood or at a nearby park. When my legs move, my mind does, too. I love to write poetry when I walk. I always carry a small notebook.
What is your favorite end-of-the-day drink? I like coffee in the afternoons. It perks me up and gives me a few more hours of energy to work. Fortunately, it does not keep me up when I am ready to go to sleep later in the evening.
Jacqueline Jules lives in Arlington, Virginia. Her most recent publication is Itzhak Perlman’s Broken String (Evening Street Press), winner of the Helen Kay Chapbook Prize. Visit her website at www.jacquelinejules.com or follow her on Twitter @jacquelinejules.