with Susan Richardson:
Q1: When did you start writing and first influences?
Susan: I have been writing since I was a child, and like most children, I started with stories. I didn’t start writing poetry until I was in my teens, and then in my twenties started submitting my work to magazines and journals. My first poetry influences were Plath, Sexton and Olds; some of my favourite fiction writers are Amy Tan, Alice Hoffman and Jane Austen.
Q2: Who are your biggest influences today?
Susan: Sylvia Plath will always be one of my biggest influences; her work taught me what poetry could do, the power and the beauty of it. There are so many amazing contemporary poets, it is hard to choose who influences me most, but to name a few; June Jordan, Dorianne Laux and Kim Addonizio.
Q3: Where did you grow up and how did that influence your writing?
Susan: I grew up in a small beach town in California, and although I don’t see it as a huge influence on my writing, it does make some appearances on occasion in my poems.
Q4: Have any travels away from home influence your work?
Susan: I recently moved from California to Ireland and I am definitely finding myself inspired in new ways; it makes a difference when everywhere you look, the landscape is breathtaking
Q5: Any pivotal moment when you knew you wanted to be a writer?
Susan: The moment when I became a writer happened when I was six years old. Each student in my first grade class was asked to write a story about Thanksgiving; most of the kids wrote stories about pilgrims and holiday feasts, but I wrote a story about a turkey who walks in front of a car so he won’t be killed for Thanksgiving dinner. It was called “The Sad Turkey” Heavy stuff perhaps, for a six year old child, but I believe that story defined me as a writer.
Q6: Favorite activities to relax?
Susan: I have always loved to read. I also crochet, which I find relaxing, and I am getting into gardening.
Q7: Any recent or forthcoming projects that you’d like to promote?
Susan: https://t.co/OCFUweyBU2 full length collection, “Things My Mother Left Behind”, is available from Potter’s Grove Press Books to read for 2021: Things My Mother Left Behind by Susan Richardson (Potter’s Grove Press) with “Leaves” from the book
Link for book: https://t.co/BKthMciCyF, and I am working on a new project that I am super excited about, but the details are still under wraps.
Q8: What is a favorite line/stanza from a poem of yours or others?
Susan: I don’t really have one specific line from any of my own poems that I can call my favourite, but I do have moments when I am writing when the words just seem to come together in ways that make me excited. One of my favourite lines from Sylvia Plath, a line that inspired me to get serious about poetry, is from Mad Girl’s Love Song – “I shut my eyes, and all the world drops dead”.
Q9: Who has helped you most with writing?
Susan: I have had a handful of incredible teachers who encouraged me to keep writing, also my Mom and Dad, who both loved poetry and music, and my husband, who is my biggest supporter.
Poem by Susan Richardson : “Mean Girls”