South Florida Poetry Journal December 2018 Interview

1     Which of your poems would be a good bribe to get out of a traffic ticket? 

I guess the poem I would choose would be “United States of Love” published in the Alabama Literary Review a few years back. In this poem, I imagine a world driven by love instead of the punitive.

2     You are to give a presentation on a pre-20th century poet. Whom do you choose and why?

Since many folks don’t know about the Armenian poet Siamanto (Atom Yarjanian), it would behoove me to educate others.

3      Your work is closer to _____ ’s work (fill in the blank) than to _____’s work.

 My work is closer to Mahmood Darwish’s work than to Anne Carson’s work.

The only writer I have ever been compared to is the late Mahmood Darwish. I bow to his talent. I do not dare compare myself to him, but I will take the compliment. As for Anne Carson, I can only hope to be as good as she is with metaphor and fragments. 

4     Who are you reading? (poetry) 

I have such talented friends, I pinch myself every single day: 
Natalie GrahamNicelle DavisAlexis Rhone FancherNatalie DiazChrys TobeyTerry Wolverton, Mary Angelino, Arthur KayzakianLory Bedikian, Alene Terzian-Zeitounian, Shahe Mankerian inspire me endlessly. 

5     Do you have a favorite cafe where you read and/or write? 

Cafes are too distracting for me. I keep wanting to write about the people. I prefer my bed for reading and writing. It’s big enough for me and my cat Henry. 

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