Q&A with Kim Addonizio: Poet, novelist, essayist on the Web
ONLINE COLUMN: Web Savvy
Published: August 18, 2009
Several years ago, I discovered Kim Addonizio at Alsop Review, a literary site that is also home to the well-known poetry workshop Gazebo. I met the poem 'Therapy,' and from that point I was hooked on Addonizio the poet, novelist and essayist. I have read her work to my daughter's friends as we sat up late at night talking writing, politics and whatever else entered our minds. I've never met Addonizio in person, but I suppose because I've read so much of her work, and I've written about her before, I feel like I know her. She has a unique connectivity with her reader. Addonizio's most recent books are Ordinary Genius: A Guide for the Poet Within, and the poetry collection Lucifer at the Starlite, both from W.W. Norton. Her collection Tell Me was a National Book Award Finalist. Her many awards and honors include a Guggenheim Fellowship and two NEA Fellowships. Kay B. Day
Addonizio has recently added online workshops to her repertoire and she agreed to answer a few questions about the new endeavor.
|Q: What prompted you to use an online format for workshops—benefits vs. challenges? |
A: The great and obvious thing about online is that you can connect with people anywhere. There were a few people who wanted to work with me but lived far away, so an online workshop was a natural next step. That connection is a big benefit. On the down side, we don't get to have those passionate discussions that take place in my living room, with my face-to-face groups. Kim Addonizio
Q: Is there more diversity? And if so, how does it impact the exchange of ideas?
A: I've worked with poets in England, Ireland, Alaska, North Dakota, New York City—which has been a great experience, because place and culture have a real effect on a writer's work, even if they are subtle influences. It was enlightening to learn who everyone was reading, for example—the English poet had a much different list than the New Yorker. So there's a nice kind of cross-pollination that goes on.
Q: Has the Web significantly influenced your success as a writer?
A: The Web is a good opportunity for every writer—to learn, to get your work out there, to network with like-minded artists. I'm grateful for the readers who discovered my work because of the Web. I have a poem called "What Do Women Want?" that's gone kind of viral; people keep posting it on their blogs. I hope they're also checking out my books, but at least that poem is striking a chord.
Q: Do you use any social networking (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) to enhance your platform or engage your readers?
A: I'm on Facebook; I have about 1700 friends and 500 more requests. But I haven't really used it as a platform; I'm on there occasionally, more to hang out and see what my daughter and friends (the ones I actually know) are up to.
Q: You're amazingly skilled in three genres—has the Web impacted your writing style, syntax, length or any other element, and if so, how?
A: The biggest impact has been the speed with which I can find something out, and then incorporate it into a piece of writing. Yesterday, while working on a poem, I Googled "proofs of God," "silage," "penis biology," and "Aristotle," to name just a few! I love going down the rabbit hole and making those discoveries.
Q: Would you share 2-3 of your favorite websites and tell us what makes them special?
A: Poetry Daily (www.poems.com) is my home page; I go to my computer in the morning and encounter a poem before anything else. I also like the Poetry Foundation's site: www.poetryfoundation.org. You can find poems for all occasions, listen to podcasts, and read interesting articles. Also, my publisher, W.W. Norton, has just launched PoemsOutLoud.net, with audio and blogs. I'm doing a monthly one; the first is about Frost and 9/11 and Rumi. And synchronicity.
Recommended Web sites:
Kim Addonizio Official Pages
--Posted August 18, 2009
Join us next time as we bring a special guest to Web Savvy. We'll be interviewing one of the top criminologists in the world, Dr. George Kirkham, known colloquially as "the doc cop." We'll bring tips to our budding crime novelists and learn how Dr. Kirkham uses the Web in his work and how he'll connect with readers as his new novel 'The Ivory Tower Cop' is released.
|Kay B. Day|
Florida journalist Kay B. Day has won awards for poetry, nonfiction and fiction. The author of two books, she has written for The Christian Science Monitor, United Press International, The Florida Times-Union and Sky News. To read Kay's other Web Savvy columns about writing for the Web, click here.