Describe yourself as a poet in three words: Sultry and profound. Just kidding. I’ll go with: cerebral, wry,aphoristic. But it’s terrible when artists describe their own art.
What is your chief misery as a poet? Ha, like, what about being a poet makes me most miserable? Not sure if I’m supposed to focus in or out for this one. Boring, overlong poetry readings. Figuring out where to send my work. Getting rejected from POETRY. Nothing about the writing process itself, really; I used to hate ordering manuscripts, but I’ve gotten a lot more deft with that.
What you appreciate the most in a poem: A profound idea. Which can sometimes be disguised in an image, a trick of language, etc.
If not a poet, what would you be? I am already other things by necessity. If we’re talking pure fantasy time, I’d want to be a “working actress,” a singer-songwriter, or a more famous poet.
Who is your poetry hero and why? I don’t like the word “hero” because it sounds like blind adoration; I prefer to merely admire people as they are then less likely to disappoint you. Even that changes, but I’ll admire forever Alice Fulton for inventing a punctuation mark (the double equal or bride sign, ==).
What is your idea of happiness? Food, drink, and conversation with people I’m fond of and who are fond of me.
What is your present state of mind? Pleasantly scattered.
Your favorite poem, ever: “Depression Before Spring” by Wallace Stevens:
Read Elisa’s poems “From L’Heure Bleue” at PEN America.