Did you read Sex With You is a Strange Violin? Then meet the woman behind the poem— Erin Wilson! We wanted to find out what makes her tick, what inspires her, who she reads and more. Read our latest interview with the talented Erin Wilson.
What inspires me most?
Nature, art, language, the body, strange correlations. Language. Did I say language?
Who are your favorite women writers?
This has been an interesting question to consider. I have a deep attraction to male poets with what could be deemed a feminine spirit (a willingness to express themselves vulnerably) like Rilke, Kenneth Rexroth, Jack Gilbert or César Vallejo in his Human Poems. It took me a moment to recognize the female poets I admire, but once I recalled the first name, the rest came through in a rush, Sharon Olds, Margaret Atwood, Pat Lowther, Alix Cléo Roubaud, Wisława Szymborska and Marina Tsvetaeva, to name a few. And while Sarah Moon is primarily a photographer, her narrations of film are agitated poetic sessions which leave one breathless. (Which calls to mind the writer Clarice Lispector. See how this goes? Once the list begins, there is little stopping. And isn’t Francesca Woodman a poet with her camera?) What is interesting to me about these female writers is that they are writers with extreme courage. And so I begin to recognize just now that it is this synthesis that is most attractive and powerful for me, a merging of vulnerability with steadfastness.
What does your writing process look like?
Every morning I wake to read. And I read in order to become awake. Really, there could be no writing without reading. I write every day or I am not myself; a sadness descends upon me. Reading and writing, this is home for me. And so I carry books with me everywhere I go. And if not books, paper and pen. And also, birdseed. (But that is for the birds.)
What advice do you have for fellow women writers?
Advice. I can’t imagine I have advice to give. Write!
What are you currently working on?
I write whatever it is that occurs to me to write in the moment. I don’t organize to write in terms of projects. However, I have a number of projects I am working on simultaneously. Perhaps some hard work, in conjunction with an editor who appreciates what it is that I would like to accomplish, might see the publication of a book of poems regarding the indomitable nature of woman, a second volume in praise of the natural world, and a third concerning the glint, gleam, glom and glimmering of being. Once again, a synthesis.
Check out Erin’s latest published pieces on her website here!