National Poetry Month Interview Series: Interview with Poet Carla Schwartz

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. Read on.

National Poetry Month Interview Series: Interview with Poet Carla Schwartz

Poet Carla Schwartz

How will you celebrate National Poetry Month? I’ll be giving several readings in the Boston Area: Boston National Poetry Month Festival at the Boston Public Library, and Gallery 55, Third Thursdays, Natick MA. I will also participate in a 30/30 project as several of my poems from my last year’s participation have been published. 

Pen, pencil or computer first? Pen first.

Who/what are your influences? Many influences. For poetry, influences include Sharon Olds, Emily Dickinson, and Dr. Suess. I am also inspired by nature, the environment, family, live music in the Boston area, and invasive plant species of New England.

What topic is the hardest for you to write about and why? Difficult family/personal relationships are challenging. And deaths of people I knew. I find these difficult in part because I do not want to hurt anyone with my writing. I have trouble writing about politics as well, as I do not want to sound trite, or put off the standard rant.

What was the worst writing idea you ever had? I am not sure any writing idea is really bad, as I can always learn from my mistakes. However, one mistake was writing about a dead family member. Also, writing a 10-page autobiography in verse when I was a teenager.

What authors do you love right now? So many. I read a lot of nonfiction and fiction. Sharon Olds is a favorite living poet. And Ocean Vuong. But I love Annie Proulx, Barbara Kingsolver, and also enjoy Louise Penny and Donna Leon.

What is the most important role of poets in 2018? I think an important role of poets is to respond to injustice, both social and environmental, especially in 2018 and going forward.

Where do you go when you need to recharge? I take a ski (XC) in the woods, go for a swim in a pond, go paddleboarding, go for a bike ride, go out to hear live music.

What is your favorite end-of-the-day drink? I just invented one for winter: almond milk with a shot of single malt. But mostly I drink a cup of tea.

Carla Schwartz lives in Massachusetts. Her most recent publication is Intimacy With the Wind (2017 Finishing Line Press). Visit her website,, or follow her on Twitter (@cb99videos) or Instagram (@cb99videos).