Traci Brimhall: An Interview

Traci Brimhall is a poet who's been published in the New York Times and in many other publications and presses over the years such as Poetry, Southern Illinois University Press, Ploughshares, Kenyon Review, and Slate.  Her third book of poetry published by Copper Canyon Press called Saudade and talks of stories from her Brazilian mother. 

Find her words of inspiration on her Twitter HERE.

Who are you and what do you do? 

A poet who is constantly dabbling with other genres.

How did you get your first book of poems published? 

It won a book contest from the Crab Orchard Series in Poetry.

Are there any poems that are particularly your favorite that you've written? 

I always love the poem I'm working on the most. That gives me the energy to give it the best I have and put every best line in it. 

What got you into writing poetry? 

I had a really great poetry teacher in college that got me started. I stopped writing after I graduated but found my way back to it when I needed to love something again in my life.

How would you describe the style of poems you write? 

I usually don't. People rarely ask, and if they do I shrug. I don't know what kind of labels they're supposed to have, and I've written so differently over the years I don't know what adjective would describe them best.

If you perform your poetry where's the best place you've performed at? 

One of the places I've read that's really special to me is the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington D.C.

Who are some writers that inspire you? 

Rainer Maria Rilke, Larry Levis, Brigit Pegeen Kelly, Anne Carson, Claudia Rankine, Natalie Diaz, Kaveh Akbar, Frederico Garcia Lorca.

What do you mainly like to write about? 

Love, death, family, God, and some of those might be the same thing.

Fun questions

If you were stuck on an abandoned island what five items would you want with you? 

  • Solar Panels
  • Water purification system
  • The Library of Congress
  • Really soft sheets
  • Channing Tatum.

If you could go back in time and meet any literary hero who would it be? 

Maybe this is cliche, but I'd want to hang out with Emily Dickinson for a day and ask questions about the flowers in her garden and bake with her.