This week, we’re pleased to present an interview with poet and paper-maker-extraordinaire, Ellaraine Lockie. Ellaraine graced Form.Reborn with a series of Japanese verse last week and will be featured in Shape of a Box this summer. We popped in to Ellaraine’s newly-built studio behind her sunlit home for this interview. Hospitable through and through, we didn’t even have to bargain or bribe to gain entrance. She just opened the door, gave us tea with crackers and cheese, and answered our questions.
- What was the first book/poem/phrase that rocked your world? Poem-wise, it would be “Wild Geese” by Mary Oliver. I don’t know how many times I’ve sent this poem to people in need of it. I’m one of them.
- Dr. Who picks you up in the Tardis. Where/when do you go? I’m wondering if I’m the only one who had to Google key words here. Since I have no background about this, I’ll choose the definition of TARDIS on Wikipedia as anything seemingly bigger on the inside than on the outside. I’d go into my art studio, where I can move through time with research and imagination whenever I want.
- What was your first published piece & where was it published? My first published poem appeared in 2000: “Soul Shelter,” a piece about my first trip to Taos, New Mexico, in 1987–one that instigated annual trips from then on. It was published in an annual anthology from Outrider Press, entitled Earth Beneath, Sky Beyond.
- Do you think the internet hurts or helps literature? It helps through accessibility, convenience and its increasingly growing inventory. It’s a blessing.
- What about authors? This depends upon what the author’s goal is. If it’s to further a career that requires publication and awards in academic journals to obtain tenure and perhaps even a job, or if one needs an income from writing, then most of that author’s work should probably be in print–at least until most online journals can offer payment. However, if an author’s goal is to write for the love of it and perhaps to touch as many readers’ lives as possible, then the Internet is a great and effective vehicle.
- When the well is dry, how do you fill it? Well, it hasn’t run dry but if it does, I’ll pay closer attention to the world and work my senses more when I go to Starbucks to write every morning and when I read and travel.
- Favorite writing tool? A Uni-ball .3mm pen with black ink.
- Your biggest fans just burst into the room. How many are there & how do you react? They are other poets, maybe twenty, and they have their poetry files with them. I organize a reading-in-the-round, in which we match either the subject or an image from the person who read before them each time. We drink unfiltered red wine and eat 70% dark chocolate.
- Why did you submit to Form.Reborn? I like to be a part of projects that get poetry out and into the world in unique ways.
- In the vast Poet Sea, I am: the result of the mating between a dolphin and a giant squid–with the intelligence, good nature and gregariousness of the dolphin and the elusiveness, mystery and propensity for shooting ink at enemies that squid possess.
Now for a grand tour of Ellaraine’s hand-made papers, crafted from recycled materials and Montana wildflowers. Want to see? Too bad…for now. But we’ll let you look when her Shape of a Box issue goes live;-)