National Poetry Month Interview Series: Interview with Poet S. R. Aichinger

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 S. R. Aichinger

How will you celebrate National Poetry Month? National Poetry Month is kind of every month for me. Is that a cop out answer? 

Pen, pencil or computer first? It’s almost always on the computer. From the first draft, I’ve always written with an eye on the shape words take on the page. Writing on a computer is just more precise in this regard than writing by hand.

Who/what are your influences? Lynda Hull’s heartbreaking lyricism and everything about Richard Siken’s collection Crush

What topic is the hardest for you to write about and why? Maybe this is an emo answer, but it’s really hard for me to write positive emotions, like joy or gratitude. I gravitate toward the melancholy. There are poets who write incredible, joyful poems. I haven’t figured out how to do that yet.

What was the worst writing idea you ever had? I have a poem that was originally called “Smoking in the Boys’ Room” when I brought it to workshop. What everyone else knew but I did not, was that Motley Cru did a cover of a song by the same name, and it was pretty popular. If I remember correctly, our professor, Susan Aizenberg, said she had the tune in her head after reading the poem. Part of me still stands by that title, so if I become more famous than Motley Cru I’m changing it back.

What authors do you love right now? Siken and Danez Smith are my unwitting boyfriends right now.

What is the most important role of poets in 2018? The world is going to need emotional stenographers this year. We’re heading toward something interesting, and with public discourse as debased as it’s become, we’ll need people to keep emotional record.

Where do you go when you need to recharge? My super power is and always has been the ability to sleep anywhere, any time. 

What is your favorite end-of-the-day drink? Either grapefruit juice or a gin & tonic, both followed by an antacid.

S. R. Aichinger lives in Omaha, Nebraska. Her recent work includes “The Peculiar Acoustics of 1970s Décor”, which appeared in the December 2017 issue of The Paragon Journal, and three poems are forthcoming in The Roanoke Review.