with Thasia Anne Lunger:
Q1: When did you start writing and first influences and biggest influences currently?
Thasia: In seventh grade a lady from the Erie School district came in and told us to write a poem for a city wide writing sampler. I had never written a poem. Our teacher said to just write about something happy or sad. I wrote about the young man across the street with three younger brothers who was recently killed in Vietnam. My first poem, which was included in the sampler was called WAR.
We go to our hill where the wind blows the still lavender flowers straight and tall for a world so small The men in Vietnam out there dropping bombs with them ends peace wont this war ever cease? They are tired of fighting of dying of everlasting crying So we go to our hill Where the wind blows the still lavender flowers
Q2: Any pivotal moment when you knew you wanted to be a writer?
Thasia: In 1990 after escaping serious domestic violence, I started keeping the poems I wrote. A counselor from my past suggested I share them at a local women’s shelter. That began my career of helping abuse survivors understand they are not alone. I also went to Edinboro University to become a social worker so I could help more women.
Q3: Who has helped you most with writing?
Thasia: Early on in the 1990’s I met Craig Czury from the eastern side of Pennsylvania, he suggested I start hanging out in coffee shops and write about everything. I did that, and started reading in said coffee shops, and at rallies for domestic violence.
Q4: Where did you grow up and how did that influence your writing & did any travels away from home influence your work?
Thasia: I grew up in Erie, Pennsylvania, and basically have always lived within a fifty mile radius. I have been to Florida, Ohio, New York, California, Maine, Arizona, Texas, and all those in between. I have been privileged to read in most of those states.
I also write romance novels and they are all based in my surrounding communities.
Q5: What do you consider your most meaningful work you’ve done creatively so far to you?
I have a poetry collection on the subject of domestic violence which has a warning signs list and National Hotline numbers for help. That is titled; Subtle Shade of Bruise
What I am most proud of though; is my live yearly performance show now headed into year 12. It is named Women of Word with a few Man Made Words, or WOW for short. I have a troop of about ten poets who I will tell them; this year I need poems on domestic violence, PTSD, disabilities, and homelessness. My poets send me what they have on those subjects and I weave the poetry into conversations. Then we do short vignettes on those subjects. A narrator takes the audience from one scene to the next. The narrator will also inject facts and figures on those subjects. It has grown substantially over the years to include a dance troop who creates dances to mimic my visions on the subjects we are covering. Sarah Foster dancing to Sounds of Silence, the Disturbed version, immediately after two veterans shared their poetry on suicide, never leaves a dry eye.
Q6: Favorite activities to relax?
Thasia: I love attending art gallery functions and poetry readings.
My other favorite relaxing activity is driving in the country. My husband and I are looking for a country property with some acreage..
Q7: What is a favorite line/stanza from a writing of yours or others?
Thasia: My hero is Maya Angelou and I love: STILL I RISE https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qviM_GnJbOM
Everything Maya, as she too was a survivor of horrendous abuse. I use her spirit as a lantern through my darkness.
Q8: What kind of music do you enjoy? Favorite musical artists, influences, songs that inspire.
Thasia: I love writing while listening to certain music. I like most genres.. It depends on my mood. Music to write to is Ben Harper, Winter is for Lovers, or believe it or not, a compilation of the music from Crocodile Dundee! I love the didgeridoo and nuances.
I also really love Jonny Lang and his Turn Around album. It is chocked full of positive messages.
Q9: Any recent or forthcoming projects that you’d like to promote?
Thasia: Every March I do another WOW during Women’s History Month. I already have a theme and direction for the new one. A poet that has been with me from the beginning is now wheelchair bound. Each year I try to have her onstage the entire show. She interjects her comments and humor between scenes. For 2021 she was acting as a mental health counselor. 2022 Heidi Blakeslee will be behind a bar, and her poetry will be interjected advice to patrons.
I am currently promoting my two romance novels as steamy Christmas gifts and will immediately go into promoting them as steamy Valentines day gifts. The titles are; Check Mates loosely based on the old reality show Cheaters! And then Horse Sense based on my extensive knowledge of horses, and the history of Shadeland Manor in Springboro, Pa.
Bonus Question: Are there any funny memories that you can recall during your writing journey or creative journey?
Thasia: I facilitated a poetry writing workshop for seniors. And one older gal kept muttering she didn’t know why she was there. She couldn’t write poetry. I went through my whole gambit of enlightenment, and then walked the group through a portrait poem. When we got to her she read hers like a poet with enthusiasm and joy. When she finished she said; “I am a poet!”
Thank you so much for this opportunity to share what is happening in my Poetess life.
Links & Bio:
thasiaanne.com Thasia Anne Poetess/ Author
Thasia Anne Lunger is my Facebook name, please feel free to connect with me.
Thasia Anne is an Erie Pennsylvania poet who has been writing and reading since the 90’s. She has six books of poetry published through Alien Buddha Press, 5 Acre Press, and Guerilla Geneses Press. To date, she has 2 romance titles released. Check Mates and Horse Sense both through Alien Buddha Press.
As well as writing, she also has a TV show that airs on Cable Access Media. The program is called, Poetry, Prose, and Personalities, and her husband Bear is the videographer.
Her poetry production show WOW, which stands for Women of Word with a Few Man Made Words has been WOWing people for eleven years.
For WOW, Thasia collaborates with a local dance troop, Sovereign Ballet. The dancers, headed by Christina Maria, take the song suggestions from Thasia and create a beautiful moving interpretation that coincides with a poetry theme.
She may be retired, but she is still extremely active in the poetry community heading up a select group of poets for 100 Thousand Poets for Change. She facilitated a free poetry workshop in Albion and led a group of established poets for the Albion Fair. In the spring she led a group of female poets for an event called Healing Through Art at Artlore Studio, and weeks later read her poems at Artlore about Women’s Suffrage during their mannequin display show.
Together with her beloved husband Bear, Thasia Anne has 15 Grandchildren, and 4 Great Grandchildren.