with Aria Ligi
Q1: When did you start writing and first influences?
Aria: I began writing at the age of two. My earliest influences were both musical and poetic. Musically, I loved musicals, opera, and Barbra Streisand. Poetically, early influences were Emily Dickinson, Lord Byron, William Butler Yeats.
Q2: Who are your biggest influences today?
Aria: Whoever I am waiting for. Also, Sylvia Plath, T.S. Eliot, Osip Mandelstam, Pablo Neruda, Erica Jong, John Cleland, Auden, PB. Shelley, Lady Caroline Lamb, Mary Godwin Wollstonecraft, Blake, Leigh Hunt, Adrienne Rich, Charlotte Smith, Ann Radcliffe, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Sappho, Lady Blessington, John Keats, Euripides, Robert Browning, and Walt Whitman
Q3: Where did you grow up and how did that influence your writing? Have any travels away from home influence your work?
Aria: I grew up in Upstate New York. I was lucky in that, I went to a college prep school where reading and writing were highly valued. Then, my father had a large library in our home, which I perused from a very young age.
Q4: What do you consider the most meaningful work that you’ve done creatively so far?
Aria: That’s hard to say. Whatever I am currently working on is what is meaningful because I immerse myself in it.
Q5: Any pivotal moment when you knew you wanted to be a writer?
Aria: No. I do not think there is any “one” moment. I just always was.
Q6: Favorite activities to relax?
Aria: Listening to music, watching quiz shows which require mental acuity. Anything the keeps my mind limber, I love.
Q7: Any recent or forthcoming projects that you’d like to promote?
Aria: I am gearing up to do a fundraiser which will enable me to publish the first volume in the Romantic Series, Hymn to Equity: Poems for William Wordsworth. This is the first volume in the fourteen-book series.
Q8: What is a favorite line/stanza from a poem of yours or others? A Favorite piece of art?
‘Let there be light! said God, and there was light!’
Let there be blood!’ says man, and there’s a seal
The fiat of this spoil’d child of the Night
(For Day ne’er saw his merits) could decree
More evil in an hour, than thirty bright
Summers could renovate, though they should be
Lovely as those which ripen’d Eden’s fruit;
For war cuts up not only branch but root.
(Don Juan, Seventh Canto)
Q9: Who has helped you most with writing?
Aria: I don’t think anyone. It’s a pretty solitary practice and I have learned the most from reading others and then challenging myself to try new forms. Also, rereading things I have written in the past has helped me to evaluate where I have been, and what I want to do. It’s important to be highly self-critical and then to be open to hearing other’s critiques. Sometimes after someone has offered their opinion and I have time to sit with it, I will go back and revise if I think what they said had merit. This has allowed me to see my work from a new point of view and hone it when need be. In terms of being supportive, my family has been extremely supportive, as well as some very dear friends and fellow writers I have met along the way.