The poem is a little myth of man's capacity of making life meaningful. And in the end, the poem is not a thing we see--it is, rather, a light by which we may see--and what we see is life.

Robert Penn Warren

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Four Questions for Susan Yount

Susan Yount was raised on a farm in southern Indiana where she learned to drive a tractor and hug her beloved goat, Cinnamon. She is editor of Arsenic Lobster Poetry Journal, madam of the Chicago Poetry Bordello, and founder of Misty Publications. She also works full time at the Associated Press and teaches online poetry classes at The Poetry Barn. As if all that wasn’t enough, she is mother to a rowdy 9-year-old. She has published two chapbooks, House on Fire and Catastrophe Theory. A third chapbook, Act One, is forthcoming from Saucepot Publishing. In her free time, she works on the Poetry Tarot. You can keep up with her progress here.

DS: Why do you write poetry?

SY: Unfortunately, I only write poetry when I have something burning to say. My muse has never been sweet but has always been a bitter fire demon at the edge of a rotting hole inside my being. When the demon gets too close to the raw edge, when the hole feels threatened, that is when the poems erupt.  I write poetry to keep the hole from consuming me.

DS: What do you hope to find in poems written by other people?

SY: My favorite poems are honest and filled with the gruesome imagery of the human condition. They reveal something about humanity that we mask in our everyday lives. I’m currently reading Notes for My Body Double by Paul Guest – WHOA! Now that is THE SHIT I’ve been looking for.

DS: Describe your works in progress.

SY: This is the year I want to work on the Minor Arcana of the Poetry Tarot I started in 2011.

I’ve finished the Major Arcana which utilizes images of dead poets, their handwriting (whenever it has been available in the public domain) and often an image of their childhood home – or some other important place of writing. You can view some samples here. These are not haphazard images and ideas thrown together. I have meditated, worked myself into frenzy, and even dared the demon to the middle of the hole in order to provide the best representation of the card and the poet.

The true challenge for me is the Minor Arcana and will consist of living poets (at least at the time of creation), a sample of their handwriting and some essence of the poet they are within the imagery of the card itself. I’m currently seeking volunteers – details on how to query me can be found at my tumblr page.

Once all the graphic work is completed, the final goal is to edit a book which interprets the cards and includes a poem from each poet.

DS: What are your hopes for the future of poetry?

SY: I hope I don’t lose it. I hope it finds me furious, thirsty, and crying. I hope it fights me in the middle of the night. I hope it buries me alive.

Susan’s Work Online:
YouTube 

Susan’s Chapbooks:
Catastrophe Theory (Hyacinth Girl Press)
House on Fire (Blood Pudding Press)
Act One (forthcoming, Saucepot Publishing)

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