National Poetry Month Interview Series: Interview with Poet Kate Bernadette Benedict

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 Kate Bernadette Benedict

Poet Kate Bernadette Benedict

How will you celebrate National Poetry Month? Curled up with my cat, writing.  And helping to host a glorious reading on April 8th at Carmine Street Metrics featuring the superlative poets Moira Egan, Erica Dawson, and David Yezzi, and co-hosted by Wendy Sloan and Anton Yakovlev.

Pen, pencil or computer first? Computer. I’ve been “penning” my poems on a computer since the days of Wang word processing, when the screen was black and the font was bright green.

Who/what are your influences? The poetry of Gerard Manley Hopkins seduced me into our “craft and sullen art”—and Dylan Thomas, too (whose quote that is), and Sylvia Plath and Anne Sexton and Richard Wilbur.

What topic is the hardest for you to write about and why? Er, s-e-x, maybe because I’m still a good Catholic girl? Still, one must force oneself if one is to be honest.  One must be that . . .

What was the worst writing idea you ever had? A poem about boiling water in a pot.  Really, it was so boring!

What authors do you love right now? I keep rereading the works of James Hillman, the late, great maverick psychoanalyst whose work gave me courage to write a full manuscript of archetypal dream poems.

What is the most important role of poets in 2018? No matter what the year, no matter what the political situation, poets use ringing language to bring us deeper into experience.  Poems pour forth from the human soul—and if we can mine the human soul, then we can get through the bad times and even move forward as a species

Where do you go when you need to recharge? I take walks in the leafy parks of my neighborhood (Riverdale) and for a major “recharge,” I travel to the south coast of Maine to walk by the sea.

What is your favorite end-of-the-day drink? Manhattan cocktail, straight up!

Kate Bernadette Benedict lives in the Riverdale neighborhood of the Bronx, New York. Her most recent publication is a series of poems in Peacock Journal. Visit her website at or follow her on Twitter @Poeta_Non_Grata.