Ally is a junior Creative Writing major and Education minor. She’s involved in the Laurentian Magazine, the Hill News, Campus Kitchens, and SWell. She also work at the WORD Studio. Ally read Feed the Lion, by Phillip Levine at the Brush Gallery reading on November 12th, 2012.
Q: What made you want to start writing? When did you begin?
A: I’ve been writing since before I could write. I’ve always loved stories, and when I was very young I’d make one up and write down the first letter of every word to stand for the whole. I couldn’t spell much, and I figured that would be enough to remind me of what I meant to say. Of course I forgot everything in about 20 minutes. I’m not sure when I was introduced to poetry, but I began making up three- or four-line snippets of it when I was about six. I’ve never been able to keep up a routine of writing every day, but I can’t go too long without releasing that creative energy either.
Q: How do you write? In a notebook? On a computer? In a special place?
A: It’s very hard for me to write poetry on a computer, mostly because I get distracted. Physically forming the words on paper makes me feel more present in the moment anyway. I usually end up writing late at night when I’m done with all my other work, but many days that time never comes. That’s part of the reason I don’t write as often as I’d like to.
Q: Who are the poets who most inspire you?
A: My inspirations are always changing. Sylvia Plath is my current favorite, but I also enjoy Donald Justice, Robert Frost, e.e. cummings, and Pablo Neruda, to name a few.
Q: Do you have a favorite poem/s written by other poet? What is in that poem/s that you like the most?
A: I can’t pick a favorite poem that I’ve written. If I did, it will have changed by the time this interview is posted. I like my poems best when I revisit them after I’ve forgotten about them. If I’m lucky, I feel the same way after I’ve gone through a period of revising that poem, but it doesn’t always happen that way.
Q: What kind of topic/s do you write about? What topics do you find it hard to write about?
A: Frequently, my poems are inspired by an image or phrase. I write about nature a lot, but recently I’ve been writing about the meaning behind names and how they shape our perceptions. As part of my Tanner Fellowship I’ve been trying to write more about teaching, but that’s been difficult for me. All poems are hard, but I’d say that love poems are the hardest. Any angle you can think of has already been used by 50 other writers, most of whom are more eloquent and creative than you. They have pets more eloquent than you. It’s discouraging.