Prathna Lor is the author of Emanations.
1 - How did your first book or chapbook change your life? How does your most recent work compare to your previous? How does it feel different?
Not sure yet but so far refreshing and lifting. Publishing a book is like watching yourself from 5-10 years ago come onto the stage. Meanwhile you are in the present trying to figure out what to do.
2 - How did you come to poetry first, as opposed to, say, fiction or non-fiction?
I came to poetry via fiction, specifically through Woolf. In her work, each line is like a bent horizon and I’m always trying to figure out what is emerging.
3 - How long does it take to start any particular writing project? Does your writing initially come quickly, or is it a slow process? Do first drafts appear looking close to their final shape, or does your work come out of copious notes?
Slow, agonizing, and always surprising.
4 - Where does a poem usually begin for you? Are you an author of short pieces that end up combining into a larger project, or are you working on a "book" from the very beginning?
Trying to write one poem continually, trying to say one thing, continually; always emerging though never fully glimpsed.
5 - Are public readings part of or counter to your creative process? Are you the sort of writer who enjoys doing readings?
Yes, something happens between voice and text on and off the page – it is essential to be in the body of your own work, to live in the sound of your own voice as fully and boldly as possible.
6 - Do you have any theoretical concerns behind your writing? What kinds of questions are you trying to answer with your work? What do you even think the current questions are?
How can we hold onto each other at great distances?
7 – What do you see the current role of the writer being in larger culture? Do they even have one? What do you think the role of the writer should be?
Living beautifully, out of mind.
8 - Do you find the process of working with an outside editor difficult or essential (or both)?
Essential and never difficult, in my experience, since a good editor (and I have been blessed in this regard), will always want the work to reach its potential.
9 - What is the best piece of advice you've heard (not necessarily given to you directly)?
Let others gift and receive you.
10 - What kind of writing routine do you tend to keep, or do you even have one? How does a typical day (for you) begin?
It is complete chaos.
11 - When your writing gets stalled, where do you turn or return for (for lack of a better word) inspiration?
12 - What fragrance reminds you of home?
Pork bone, incense, lime leaf, dried persimmons.
13 - David W. McFadden once said that books come from books, but are there any other forms that influence your work, whether nature, music, science or visual art?
14 - What other writers or writings are important for your work, or simply your life outside of your work?
Anything I can get my hands on.
15 - What would you like to do that you haven't yet done?
16 - What made you write, as opposed to doing something else?
An intractable feeling or being bad at most everything else.
17 - What was the last great book you read? What was the last great film?
18 - What are you currently working on?