Lisa Mary Presents: Poets in the Pandemic Blog Series: Interview with Julie A Larick

ABOUT: Julie is an eighteen year old Serbian-American poet/fiction writer from Northeast Ohio.  She attends The College of Wooster where she is majoring in English literature and minoring in Spanish.   

1.       Do you come from a literary background?

No I don't my mum is a vision aid specialist and my dad an analyst in progressive car insurance although my parents have always been very supportive of my writing.  I was encouraged by people like my 2nd grade teacher and teachers in high school which gave me the gave me the confidence I needed to continue with my writing. 

2.       What did you enjoy reading as a child? 

I used to read authors like Percy Jackson, Rick Riordan, J K Rowling and The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. 

3.     How did you get started as a writer?

When I was younger I'd write and illustrate books.  Currently I'm a college freshman at the College of Wooster and the creative writing manager for The Incandescent Review.  I'm also interning at GASHER Journal editing prose 

4.     Who are your favourite poets/writers and what are you reading now?

Right now I'm reading the Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller.  Poetry wise I like to read a lot of what my peers have published because I can relate to what they write about.  I also like Elizabeth Bishop, Jericho Brown and Jean Valentine.

5.      Where does your inspiration come from and do you find writing easy?

I'm inspired mostly by my teachers and writing coaches.  I tend to write more visceral poems and talk about my own experiences.  I like motifs about nature as I have a bird feeder in my back yard and we have a lot of wildlife e.g. bunnies, squirrels.  I don't write about the pandemic specifically but my poetry is indirectly prompted by feelings like isolation and longing.  


6.      Do you encounter any specific challenges as a young writer?

I tend to only submit to teen lit mags because I find the issues more relatable.  I also feel that I am at the same skill level as other contributors as I am relatively new to the literary world. 

7.       What are you working on right now and do you have any projects in the pipeline 
you'd like to share with us?

I have some poetry coming out this year in The Hearth Magazine Issue IV, "Do You Have a Plan, The Augment Review Issue I, "Tell Me Something Real" and Lanke Review Issue I "It's Only Tuesday". 

8.      Goals and aspirations?

I want to edit in the future and keep on writing.  

9.       Any advice for aspiring poets/writers out there?

Probably stay off of social media as it can be discouraging for younger writers just starting out.  You should give yourself time to develop your confidence and ability.  Don't compare yourself to others and write what you want.  When submitting your work to lit mags read past issues and stick to the theme if there is one. 

10.     What are your favourite literary magazines at the moment?

I'm a big fan of perhappened as I love their mission statement, Indigo Lit, Adroit Journal and Ogma Magazine.

"I understand the brown tufted bird because he sings so softly"

Two poems that resonate:  

You have chosen The Fish by Elizabeth Bishop and Questions About The Big Bang  a poem you wrote which was  first published in @ogmamagazine.  Can you tell me a little bit more about why you chose these two poems in particular?  

The poem by Elizabeth Bishop was one of the first poems I analysed.  We were assigned to read it and looked at how the working parts fit together.  I loved the imagery used in the poem especially the lines, 

"While his Gills were breathing in 

the terrible oxygen 

- the frightening gills fresh and crisp with blood, 

that can cut so badly -

I thought of the coarse white flesh 

packed like feathers,

the big bones and the little bones,

the dramatic reds and blacks

of his shiny entrails,

and the pink swim-bladder

like a big peony."

I was inspired to write my poem after looking out of my window and seeing a bird sitting in my backyard on it's own.  I thought he looks so lonely and wondered what birds would think about the big bang if they had that ability.  I also love space documentaries and so all of this culminated in me writing Questions about the big bang. 

Questions About the Big Bang 

by Julie A Larick

How do I understand the brown tufted bird? 

The one that serenades you from your spindly backyard tree 

and sobs every freezing night under the half-moon glow, 

the sounds of Earth deafening, the pulley of light his 

weighted blanket, his tiny beak frosted from snow, 

the one that cries for the emptiness before 

The Big Bang because he was there,

 vat of open space stuck like  

a frozen telephone pole on my tongue 

and his fresh eyes saw only for the blank line, 

the composite of every base chemical and every  

word that would appear in every love poem  

not yet founded and still just  


I understand the brown tufted bird because 

he sings so softly.

Original post from Lisa’s site below:

About Interviewee Lisa Mary Armstrong & her site:

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