This week we have an interview with the lovely Mary Sims. We featured her poem “Lavender Lazarus” back in September of this year. You can also find her latest poetry on Peach Mag and The Rising Phoenix Review.
What got you started as a writer?
I came across some horror books at a book-fair as a kid, and soon after I tried to write little horror stories of my own with friends. Eventually, I started moving away from plot-centered stories and became more interested in individual lines.
Poetry turned out to be exactly what I was searching for. When I stumbled across Literary Twitter, I found poetry magazines and became immersed in the genre.
Do you feel closer to a certain genre or style? Why? How does this inform the way you see/experience the world around you?
Poetry. It has the power to give things a second meaning and shows you countless perspectives. I believe it’s made me more empathetic and opened my eyes to ideas, forms, and styles I never thought possible.
Are there times in your life where you feel drawn to other styles? What draws you to them? Life events, moods?
Sometimes I do feel drawn to prose poetry or flash fiction. Poetry is beautiful in all its indirect complexities, but sometimes I want to read the direct nature that flash fiction or prose poetry deliver. Normally, I’m more drawn to these styles during hard times, when I know a certain piece will give me a specific feeling I am craving. It can be nice to address things directly at times rather than trying to piece together meaning indirectly.
Who are you reading right now?
Kristin Chang’s Past Lives, Future Bodies, and Louise Glück’s Vita Nova. I love how Kristin Chang plays with form and language. She intertwines them in a way I hadn’t previously thought possible. She also plays with spacing in a way that gives each poem another level: an element I’ve tried to incorporate into my own writing.
Louise Glück’s ability to manipulate simple objects, such as plants, into large emotions is a skill I cannot read enough of. I spent the summer reading a collection of her first four books. I feel there is still so much I can learn from her about poetry and language.
Can you tell us a quirky fun fact about yourself?
My friends say that in everything I do, I have a grandma style. For example, when when we go shopping, a lot of times I’ll choose the skirt with the couch print you’d find in your grandmother’s house. There’s just something hypnotic and comforting about the oddness of the patterns. This goes double for any floral sweater I’ve come across.