Q1: When did you start writing and whom influenced you the most now and currently?
Natalie: I started seriously writing poetry in 2019, and was at first most influenced by Louise Glück and Sylvia Plath. Currently, two of my favorite poets are Linda Gregg and Charles Simic.
Q2: Any pivotal moment when you knew you wanted to be a writer?
Natalie: I have always been drawn to what I call the potential of magic in poetry. My chosen career as a physician and being a mother of two young children keep me very busy attending to other people’s needs, and both are roles that I feel privileged to have. Soon after I turned 40, I started a weekly writing practice because I developed the need for a creative outlet.
Q3: Who has helped you most with writing and career?
Natalie: Kelli Russell Agodon has been a wonderful mentor to me. She has been very helpful to me in my pursuit of becoming a poet.
Q4: Where did you grow up and how did that influence you? Have any travels away from home influence your work?
Natalie: I grew up in the San Fernando Valley. I often include details of Southern California’s landscape in my poetry.
Q5: What do you consider your most meaningful work creatively to you?
Natalie: My ecopoetry and poems concerning grief have been the most meaningful to me.
Q6: Favorite activities to relax?
Natalie: My favorite activities to relax are cooking, gardening, and creating art with my children.
Q7: What is a favorite line/ stanza/lyric from your writing?
Natalie: Favorite lines from one of my poems include these from my poem “Songbird:” “Even the sycamores outside/ the window acknowledge your end// with their sudden stillness./ You chose my birth// and watched me walk in the sun/ and then into the world’s grief,//but we were not new together./ Did it seem so the first time// I was mesmerized by snow?”
Q8: What kind of music inspires you the most? What is a song or songs that come back to you as an inspiration?
Natalie: Jazz music inspires me the most. Miles Davis’s “Blue in Green” is a song I listen to again and again for inspiration.
Q9: Do you have any recent or upcoming books, music, events, projects that you’d like to promote?
Natalie: My first poetry chapbook, Memories of Stars will be published by Finishing Line Press in June 2023.
Bio: Natalie Marino is a poet and physician. Her work appears in Atlas and Alice, Gigantic Sequins, Hobart, Isele Magazine, Pleiades, Rust + Moth, The Shore, and elsewhere. She lives in California. You can read some of her poetry at nataliemarino.com