Field Recordings welcomes Broadkill poet, Nina Bennett to the internet wilds. Nina shares the same small press home as I do, the very kind and suave Broadkill Press, an imprint of The Broadkill River Press, and The Broadkill Review. Nina's launching her book on Sunday Sep 29 at the Arden Craft Shop Museum, in Arden DE, from 1-4. As usual links are peppered throughout. Nina is also a member of a writing group, which has a home here.
Name: Nina Bennett
Pen Name: N/A
Most recent title published: Sound Effects
Where do you write?
Most of my writing starts in a spiral-bound notebook before it gets anywhere near the computer. I find it easier to write at home than at a local coffee shop. I do a great deal of writing when I am out of town-hotel rooms and airports. I’ve been known to write on napkins in bars.
What are your rituals with regards to writing (ex: Must have tea, a cat on the lap, etc)
Describe your writing process:
Most drafts start in my head, while I am in my car. It may be a song title, lyric, or a line that I just can’t get out of my brain, so eventually I give in and start writing.
What do you when you begin to revise? What's the first thing you do during that process?
I look at nouns and verbs. A wonderful exercise I learned in a workshop with Molly Fisk is to make a list of all the nouns in your poem, then list substitutes. Then do the same thing with verbs. Push yourself to find the strongest nouns and verbs. Don’t walk-sprint, sashay, prance-but don’t walk. Get rid of adverbs and adjectives. Get rid of as many “and” and “the” words as possible.
When revising, how many drafts do you go through before you feel comfortable with the final product?
At least 10
When arranging lines for your poems, what do you consider at the micro level-- about the line? (For
example...I never end a line on the word “and” etc.)
powerful end words, internal/slant rhyme
As a poet, whose music, or voice, sometimes do you hear as you write or revise?
How would you classify your poetry? Are you a lyric poet? A Romantic? A Surrealist?
Narrative poetry, poetry of loss
What poets are you currently reading?
Joan Colby, Jack Coulehan, Tony Goeggler
What poets/poems do you strongly recommend a reader to discover?
Contemporary female poets: Molly Fisk, Ellen Bass, Diane Lockward, Kimmy Beach, Daisy Fried, Erin Belieu, Kim Addonizio, Bobbi Lurie, Erika Meitner, Denise Duhamel
The contemporary American poetic tradition is elegy, do you discover elegiac qualities among your own writing as a whole? Are you a poet of loss?
I think there are many elegiac elements in my poems, and I am most certainly a poet of loss.
Where does your inspiration come from (music, film, other books)?
Music, the 60s, not-so-current events, family
What is your literary guilty pleasure? (trashy sci-fi adventures, bad romance novels, 50 Shades, fanfic, etc.)
Explain how your local and regional environment influences your writing, your process, and your product (in other words, how does your reality intersect with the worlds that you create?):
Interesting question. I’ve been reading the series in Poets and Writers on this topic, and my local/regional environment doesn’t resonate with me at all. I live in Delaware, in the upstate suburban sprawl part of the state. I don’t consider myself to be a city poet, or a beach poet. Actually, my Mid-Atlantic regional environment influences my writing in the sense that I do my best writing when I travel away from the Northeast.
You have to invite three authors to dinner, who are they? Why?
I would never be able to sit through a meal with 3 people, but I’ll be a good sport and answer. Leonard Cohen, because I could listen to his voice forever. Will Schwalbe, because he’s not afraid to talk about death.
Favorite title (you wish you had come up with): I Have to Go Back to 1994 and Kill a Girl (Karyna McGlynn). Isn’t that a delicious title? How could you walk past a book with a title like that?
Line(s) you wish you wrote: Too many to quote
Book you did not read in high school but now have read and have an appreciation for: And why:
Being oppositional-defiant, I am going to answer in the reverse. I read the classics in high school and wish I hadn’t used my time that way. Heresy, I know! Please don’t throw things at me.
Favorite words: jasmine, fuschia, riff, iridescent,
Least favorite words: last call
Advice you would like to pass on to other writers:
Read. Read. Read. Then read some more.
What you would discuss with your pet if your pet could talk:
Ah-the point of having a pet is that they don’t talk! My secrets are safe.