Friday, June 18, 2010

6 questions with Natalie Lyalin

1) Like a number of poets who have participated in the Poetry Lab, I notice that you are also an editor. What led you to the role of editor, and is there a bit of DIY in that decision? Taking control of the "means of production"?

I really wanted to create spaces for the poems and poets that I loved. That is the inspiration for both of my editing projects - GlitterPony Magazine and Agnes Fox Press.

2) You are on a "book tour" currently - how did that come about?

On the suggestion of my friend Heather Christle, I contacted Mike Young and Rachel B Glaser. Their books are coming out from Publishing Genius this fall, and we all decided to do this tour/road trip together. Mike and Rachel and amazing, so I knew that going on the road with them would be super great. And it has been!

3) Recently you spent time in Jerusalem, how did that affect your writing? Is PLACE important in your work?

Place is definitely important to my work, but not in a geographical sense. I mean that I don't necessarily want to write about a location, but more so my impression of the location. I make things up a lot and superimpose my own sense on geography. Jerusalem allowed me a lot of time to write, but I did not write about Jerusalem. I did write about Moses, so maybe Jerusalem did have some influence on me.

4) I saw an altered Gucci ad - (text provided by you?) Are you drawn to ad copy as an inspiration or as a reaction? Or was the specific image that led to the piece?

The text is mine. That piece was a reaction and a bit of inspiration. I like the absurdity of fashion advertisement. The bigger the brand, the more insane the add -- like the Marc Jacobs ads with Victoria Beckham. But the add you are asking about, in that case I felt like the image was so odd that something had to be said other than "buy these clothes."

5) We left the Philly for DC area in 2004. My understanding is that there has been a great deal of poetic prowess happening in Philadelphia since, What has your experience been like living in Philadelphia?

I love philadelphia. There are some supremely exciting poets living there -- CA Conrad, Michelle Taransky, Sueyeun Juliette Lee, Ish Klein, and many many others. I think it is a special poetry place. There are new venues and reading series popping up. You should come visit!

6) When did you start writing and what was the first book of poetry you bought for yourself?

I would say that college, my junior and senior year, was when the "real" poems started surfacing. And my first book? I can't recall. But I remember being fascinated by Edna St.Vincent Millay's "Not In A Silver Casket." I think that's on

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