Laurie Kolp has been a YCR contributor/supporter since our Superhero issue. Her amazing poem Figure 8 has been nominated for a Best of the Net Award. She was kind enough to allow this interview! We’re excited to bring you more information about her awesome work and her process. -Sarah
SM: When did you start writing? Why?
LK: I started writing as a child because I’d found a way to express myself. I spent hours in my room writing chapter books and poems, making cards for my mother. I’ve always loved writing.
SM: Tell us about your very first published poem:
LK: My first published poem was in my high school’s literary journal. The title was Secrets Within. I wish I had a copy of it, but somehow lost it in all my moves through college and early adulthood. I thought my parents had it at their house, but apparently they did not. I’m very, very sad about losing my first published poem.
SM: Do you have any creative rituals you’d like to tell us about?
LK: Running really helps clear my mind of worry. I get a lot of inspiration in those 5 miles. When or where do you write? I’m most productive in the early morning or at night. I have a little nook in the back of my den where I work. It’s by a window and I can look out into the backyard. My dogs are usually close by.
SM: YCR has nominated Figure Eight for Best of The Net. Tell us about that poem:
LK: Yes… thank you so much for that unexpected surprise. I’m truly honored! The poem is about my youngest child and the time he learned how to carve soap. He was working toward his whittling chip for scouts. He has always been very expressive, and our conversation that ensued inspired me to write the poem.
SM: What is your most favorite thing you’ve ever written?
LK: I’ve done several collaborations with artists that I’ve really enjoyed, but perhaps my favorite piece I’ve ever written is my poem, The Tryst, which was published in the 2015 Poet’s Market.
SM: Your chapbook Hello, It’s Your Mother is out soon. What can you tell us about it? Where can we purchase it?
LK: Hello, It’s Your Mother (Finishing Line Press) reviews the relationship between mothers and daughters and was inspired through insightful reflection upon caring for my mother as she was dying from cancer. The chapbook was supposed to be released this month but because of some unexpected delays on the publishers end, it’s looking like November. At this point, the best way to purchase Hello, It’s Your Mother is through me. Those interested can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I also have a full-length, Upon the Blue Couch (Winter Goose Publishing), which is available on Amazon and Barnes&Noble. Thanks for your support!
SM: What other projects do you have forthcoming or are you working towards anything currently?
LK: I’m working on another chapbook and have been revising/submitting a lot of my older poems. I’m also trying to make it through high school football season, wisdom teeth extraction, busted-open heads, and Homecoming dances… all fodder from my 3 kids for new material.
SM: We’re huge on promotion and supporting small press and writers. Have you read any great books/chapbooks lately that you’d love the world to know about?
LK: Yes, I have… there are so many great chapbooks that I have read, but Allyson Whipple’s We’re Smaller Than We Think We Are and Melissa Studdard’s I Ate the Cosmos for Breakfast came to mind as soon as I read your question.
SM: Okay for fun! The end is near. You’re packing your bag and can only make room for three books. What do you grab?
LK: Considering I’d already packed a flash drive with family pictures and poems, I’d add the Big Book, Diane Lockward’s The Crafty Poet, and an empty spiral (I have lots of those).