Interview with Poet, Jennifer A. Grisham


First and foremost, I’m in LOVE with the word magique and variations of it -- more unique in spelling than magic.  So, when I receive a completed interview by Jennifer A. Grisham where she uses the spelling magick – the smile on my face genuinely does bend from ear to ear -- like that of Brandon Lee’s face in The Crow.  The use of words and origins are very important to me.  As a writer, more specifically poet our veins do not flow with plasma but, rather: letters, and punctuation symbols.  Jennifer’s writing comes from the millennia of crevices that comprise her profound essence.  Her writing is lucid and imagery consistently lush.  Jennifer’s forthcoming book Equinox Ascending will be available on All Hallows' Eve – which in my opinion could either be paired nicely with a bottle of Malbec or in my case a basket riddled with every single kind of candy available.  

Tomorrow, Jennifer will be hosting an appreciation via her Instagram @alchemical.poetica in honour of those who have inspired her journey and supported her – while she was scribing her book.  See you there – in the meantime, please rest your optics on this interview with Jennifer!  

And, before I forget, Jennifer is also a writer on this blog -- check out her bio on the Quill Fated Scribes page... 

RMMW: Please tell us about your forthcoming book Equinox Ascending?

JG: Equinox Ascending is a compilation of both poetry and prose.  It is broken up into three sections, much like my debut book.  However, this book differs from my first.  It is a lot longer, it also includes illustrations and cover art by talented artists, and it is a book that truly represents myself and my personal entity.   Whiskey Sour Love was a collection focused on all the phases of love, lust, and heartbreak.  Equinox Ascending is a book about transformation.  It is a collection celebrating sense of self, womanhood, identity, and the magickal elements the earth has to offer.  This particular book features a lot of mythos and supernatural references.  It is also focused on magick, something I am incredibly excited about.

RMMW: What mistakes did you learn with your first book Whiskey Sour Love that you refuse to make with Equinox Ascending?

JG: There will always be mistakes.  I think the biggest mistake I can think of is limiting the collection to a particular kind of poetic theme.  I don't think it was intentional, the majority of pieces seemed to fall that way, but there were so many other pieces that I wanted to include but just didn't "fit".  In Equinox Ascending, I definitely did not confine myself to the same degree.  I was also able to branch out into other artistic art forms, which is truly exciting for me.  Additionally, I am more patient with the crafting of this one.  WSL had a deadline and Equinox does not.  I have a rough idea of when I want to release it, but I am taking my time to insure that this collection truly represents me in all the ways I want it to.

RMMW: What is your favourite aspect about reading poetry live on Yellow Penguin NYC?

JG: I love the platform and the other curators and live readers I work with.  It is just an incredibly loving and supporting experience being on Penguin and I am truly grateful to Nicole for allowing me the opportunity.  Importantly, sharing the writing of others every week makes my heart so happy that I can't even describe the sensation into words.  Many writers here are not comfortable using their voices and faces to share their pieces.  It brings me joy to use my voice to allow them the opportunity of providing their words with life, with breath.

RMMW: What are the differences in theme between Equinox and Whiskey Sour Love?

JG: Whiskey Sour Love is about the phases of love: lust, heartbreak, and love.  Equinox Ascending is about self.  It circles on the magick of being a woman connected to the earth and transcending into her own self.  It acknowledges that there is light and dark within us all and that all of it is beautiful.

RMMW: Do you feel you've grown as a writer in between preparations of each of your books?

JG: In some ways, yes, and in other ways, I'm not sure!  I think some of my best writing was in my first book.  However, this new book has a lot more experimental writing in it.  I think that I have grown stylistically and in terms of my ability to branch out.  I also think a lot of my writing is more authentic to my true sense of self than just merely "romanticized".  I really feel that I have been able to branch out more than I have before, which is growth in and of itself.

RMMW: What is your favourite poetic style to scribe?

JG: My favorite poetic style is probably free-form.  I follow rhyming patterns occasionally, but I prefer writing that is more free and raw.  It helps be get the words out better instead of making me feel trapped within rules and patterns I should be adhering too.

RMMW: I find that most writers conceal interwoven secrets into their work -- do you?

JG: Yes, all the time.  My writing is secretive in terms of the metaphors and images I use.  Even though my writing content may seem explicit, it really isn't.  I love analysis and layers, so there is a lot more hidden within the imagery I use than perhaps meets the eye.  I also enjoy playing around with pop culture references that contain hidden meanings to the content I am writing about as well.

RMMW: I was searching my question archive and it dawned on me when Kris Duncan posted on how her writing makes her feel, in that moment I realised I've asked so many questions but never about how writing makes someone feel -- you are now the first as, I have a feeling this question may become a staple as it has so many different meanings to different writers -- that being said... How does writing makes you feel? 

JG: Firstly, Kris Duncan is the most brilliant woman I have ever had the pleasure of talking to.  I'd love to know her own response to this question myself.  Writing makes me feel so many things.  It makes me feel raw, safe, relieved, and vulnerable.  Writing makes me feel like I am able to process my inner turmoil and be true to my authentic self.  Writing makes me feel so many things, but I think it comes back to one, really. Writing lets me know that I am alive.

RMMW: Do you feel being well read makes you a strong writer?

JG: I do.  I think it exposes you to more and therefore provides you with more knowledge, leaving you with the ability to be inspired.

RMMW: Who are your favourite indie writers?

JG: Many of the writers I look up to are people that I have had the pleasure of reading on instagram. Jon (jonpaulpoetry), Kris (poetica.ex.machina), Kelly, (blushing_poetry), Cat (misguidedivy), Barry (thehollowgram), Madison (Madison_wells), k.fuir, Casey (caseywritesthings) and Kevin (kckudthegud) are some of my all-time favorites.  Their writing is beautiful, raw, and real.  I look up to each and every one of them as writers and artists for so many different reasons.  Check them out for sure if you haven't yet!

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