Poetry Showcase & Quick-9 Interview with Lynne Jensen Lampe

Bio: Lynne Jensen Lampe has poems in or forthcoming from Figure 1, Olney Magazine, Yemassee, Moist Poetry Journal, and elsewhere. Also to come is her chapbook Talk Smack to a Hurricane (Ice Floe Press, 2022) about mothers, daughters, and mental illness. Her poem “Stirring the Ashes” was a finalist for the 2020 Red Wheelbarrow Poetry Prize. She lives with her musician husband and two dogs in mid-Missouri, where she edits academic books and journals. Visit her at https://lynnejensenlampe.com. Twitter: @LJensenLampe. 

All in a Day

A friend had a tortoise named Cecil
whose best trick was that he could be still.
His life ran amok
when his innards were sucked
and now he is naught but a seashell.


On the Side of the Road

The dead cow seemed as big as a house.
All its owners could do was grouse.
They stuck a knife in the bloat
to cut burgers and roasts,
wore the skin as a beautiful blouse.


End of the Line

We once trained a healthy young stallion
whose ancestors were brought on a galleon.
On a romp in the rain
he got hit by a train
and that was the end of his dallyin’.

A Fevers of the Mind Quick-9 Interview 

1. When did you start writing and first influences?

I loved to read, but I don’t think I thought of writing on my own until I was 8 or 9 years old and began writing limericks. My Grandpa Sam, who usually had a very analytical and serious demeanor, loved to tell stories and recite limericks. He must’ve told me to read Ogden Nash—one of the first poems I remember is “A flea and a fly in a flue, they didn’t know what to do.” And actually, when I’m stuck now I write grimericks, the macabre version of limericks. Other early influences were A.A. Milne, Joan Aiken, Dalton Trumbo, Sylvia Plath, and my mother—her severe mental illness and frequent hospitalizations certainly shaped me from day 1. 

2. Who are your biggest influences today? 

Gregory Orr tops the list—his Primer for Poets & Readers of Poetry changed my life with its talk of order and disorder and looking at poetry in terms of naming, singing, saying, imagining. I really admire the poems of Dorianne Laux, Diane Seuss, and Ansel Elkins—quiet yet powerful, everyday vocabulary used in striking combinations. torrin a. greathouse writes vividly about pain, danger, and change—I’d like my poems to balance craft and emotion so deftly. As I try to move toward the lyric, I look to Sabrina Orah Mark and Michael Credico and French filmmakers such as Alain Resnais to help me jog free of expectation and conventional thought. 

3. Any pivotal moment when you knew you wanted to be a writer? 

When I was 12 years old, I wanted to be a tree surgeon or an architect, so it was later than that! At 15, I started wondering about journalism. That was in 1974, the year Woodward and Bernstein published All the President’s Men about Nixon and Watergate. Right around then, maybe the year before, I started writing poetry. 

4. Who has helped you the most with writing?

Gosh, so many people. My high school journalism teacher, Steven Fitzgerald, encouraged me. A few of us would hang out in his classroom after school, writing in our journals and talking with him about life. Sophomore year of college I took an intro to poetry workshop with Marcia Southwick—first time I heard “show, don’t tell.” She nurtured me as a writer and helped me believe in myself as a poet. More recently, Amie Whittemore and Ed Skoog as well as two critique groups, one local and one online—shout out to Inflections writers and the Poet Sisters! I’m also part of an accountability group, Dame Good Writers.

5. Where did you grow up and how did that influence your writing and did any travels away from influence your work?

I grew up mostly in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Southerners seem to be natural storytellers, stretching out more than syllables when they speak. Maybe that’s why my poems tend toward narrative. People put a premium on politeness (and euphemism), regardless of real feelings or facts, and I think that’s one reason I soften the power of my early drafts with unnecessary words. Also, when I write or read poems with Southern imagery, my diction and accent change.

6. What do you consider your most meaningful work you’ve done creatively so far?

Definitely the poems I’ve written about my mother and mental illness. 

7. Favorite activities to relax? 

I love reading mysteries (especially Sherlock Holmes pastiches), bike riding, cooking, hiking, and browsing at thrift stores or grocery stores. Oh, and playing with our two dogs.

8. What is a favorite line/stanza from a poem/writing of yours or others?

I first read “Hush” by David St. John decades ago. These lines have stayed with me: 
Well, I go everywhere
Picking the dust out of the dust, scraping the breezes
Up off the floor, & gather them into a doll

9. Any recent or forthcoming projects you’d like to promote?

Thanks for asking! An ekphrastic poem of mine based on Marilyn Monroe’s Conté drawings is in the current issue of Figure 1 (https://thefigureone.com). I sent that one out more than 25 times! It was quite a journey from the first draft to the version that was accepted.
Also, Ice Floe Press (https://icefloepress.net) is publishing my first chapbook, Talk Smack to a Hurricane, in a few months. The 34 poems deal with my mother’s mental illness, our relationship, psychiatric treatments, and power. 


 


A Fevers of the Mind Quick-9 Interview with Theresa Werba

with Theresa Werba (formerly Theresa Rodriguez)

Q1: When did you start writing and first influences?

Theresa: I’m sure I started writing in earnest in junior high school. In high school we studied the sonnet form and fell in love with its musicality and beauty! I began writing sonnets and experimenting with formal poetry while also writing free verse. I suppose I have my high school English teacher to thank for being one of my first influences!

Q2: Who are your biggest influences today?

Theresa: I would have to say that I am my own biggest influence today. I re-read my own work, old and new, with a critical eye (trying to avoid nostalgia) and work to hone and refine everything, from the absent comma to a full-scale overhaul of a line or two, or allocating a poem to the “junk pile” of lousy poetic attempts.

Q3: Where did you grow up and how did that influence your writing? Have any travels away from home influence your work?

Theresa: I grew up in a brownstone near Gramercy Park in Manhattan during the 60s and 70s. New York has always been a high-energy, creative place where people are trying new things and coming up with interesting ideas and innovative solutions, always at a fast pace, always with great intensity and a no-nonsense approach. I suppose I will always be a New Yorker, since I still have that city edge, even though I’ve been out of the city for over thirty years. I still don’t take crap from anyone and move way too fast for most people around me!

Q4: What do you consider your most meaningful work that you’ve done creatively so far?

Theresa: Two works are of great meaning creatively to me so far. Since transitioning from Theresa Rodriguez to Theresa Werba, my most meaningful work is my current revision of an earlier book I had written, which is now tentatively being titled Trauma to Truth: An Adoption Story. It tells the story of my being an adopted child growing up in an abusive home, finding my birth mother, and only recently, though DNA testing, finding my biological father, who turned out to be someone my mother doesn’t even remember. In 2020 I changed my name to take his last name, and I am very proud of my newly-discovered Jewish heritage. I hope to have the book ready for publication within the year. The other work is what I consider to be my “magnum opus,” which I am tentatively titling What Was and Is: Formal Poetry and Free Verse, which will be a sort of “best of” work from my previous three poetry books in addition to new material. (These  previous books are Jesus and Eros: Sonnets, Poems, and Songs (Bardsinger Books, 2015), Longer Thoughts (Shanti Arts, 2020), and Sonnets (Shanti Arts, 2020), my collection of sixty-five sonnets). Since my previous works have been published under the name Theresa Rodriguez, it will be highly meaningful to publish these new works under the name Theresa Werba.

Q5: Any pivotal moment when you knew you wanted to be a writer?

Theresa: I’m not sure I ever “wanted” to be a poet; I always was a poet! I was writing little poems when I was as young as ten years old, always writing songs, always having a journal, always creating, always writing. It was never not part of me!

Q6: Favorite activities to relax?

Theresa: I enjoy word games, reading, sewing, swimming, playing the piano, laying in my bed with my laptop watching Youtube videos, and very hot tubs with lavender and epsom salts!

Q7: Any recent or upcoming promotional work that you’d like promote?

Theresa: I just revamped my website with my name Theresa Werba (www.bardsinger.com) as well as my Instagram and Twitter (@thesonnetqueen). There you can find out about my previous books (which are still under the name Theresa Rodriguez) as well as see my performance poetry videos.

Q8: What is a favorite line from a poem of yours?

Theresa:

“For writing is the labor of the mind;

And I have birthed my children all in kind.”

(from “The Word-Birth Sonnet, “ found in Sonnets http://www.shantiarts.co/uploads/files/pqr/RODRIGUEZ_SONNETS.html or on Amazon.

Q9: Who has helped you most with writing?

Theresa: I suppose Daniel Webster, because I refer to the Merriam-Webster dictionary almost every time I set down to write!

Bio: Theresa Werba (formerly Theresa Rodriguez) is 60-year old poet, author and voice teacher who was diagnosed with autism in her 50s and bipolar disorder since her 20s. She is the author of Jesus and Eros: Sonnets, Poems and Songs (Bardsinger Books, 2015), Longer Thoughts (Shanti Arts, 2020), and Sonnets, a collection of sixty-five sonnets (Shanti Arts, 2020). Her work has appeared in such journals as The Scarlet Leaf Review, The Wilderness House Literary Review, Spindrift, Mezzo Cammin, The Wombwell Rainbow, Serotonin, The Road Not Taken, and the Society of Classical Poets Journal. Her work ranges from forms such as the ode and sonnet to free verse, with topics ranging from neurodivergence, love, loss, aging, to faith and disillusionment and more. Her website is http://www.bardsinger.com, where you can view videos of her performance poetry and find information about her books. Follow Theresa on Instagram and Twitter @thesonnetqueen.

Wolfpack Contributor: Theresa Werba

A Fevers of the Mind Quick-9 Interview with Chris L. Butler

with Chris L. Butler (@CLBPoetry)

Q1: When did you start writing and first influences and biggest influences currently?

Chris: I began my writing journey in the nineties as a child. I was mostly a notebook poet growing up. I rarely wrote nonfiction outside of journaling. In my teens, I was more prone to writing short stories, fanfiction, poems, and raps. As I got into my twenties I knew I wanted to write more poetry, but I also grew an interest in nonfiction through blogging. After a sports blog and a pop culture blog, I shifted fully into poetry and creative nonfiction as primary genres.

Q2: Any pivotal moment when you knew you wanted to be a writer?

Chris: I’ve always wanted to be a writer. I did not take it seriously though until a few years ago. Prior to this, it was more of a hobby or creative outlet. Even when I was blogging (2011-2018), I was not holding myself accountable in the way that I am now.

Q3: Who has helped you most with writing?

Chris: I’m not sure there is a “most” for anyone as far as direct help goes. I’ve been blessed with a village. What I will say is, I have writers and editors who I’ve connected with that have helped me grow. Some that come to mind are Randall Horton, Quintin Collins, Laure-Anne Bosselaar, Iain Haley Pollock, Daniel Peña, Jane Creighton, Denzel X. Scott, Lynne Schmidt, Samantha Jones, Reggie Johnson, and Anne Marie Oomen. On the editing side definitely Christopher Margolin, Bradley Galimore, and Jeni De la O.

Q4: Where did you grow up and how did that influence your writing & did any travels away from home influence your work?

Chris: I love this question because it is more direct than “where are you from?” I was born and raised in West Philadelphia. It has influenced my writing a great deal as I’ve published a poem called “It’s Not Always Sunny in Philadelphia,” and a genre buster called “JAWN: A Philadelphian Lyric.” Travels away from home don’t influence my work as much as some others but that is probably because I’ve lived a lot of places. These places have inspired new work.

Q5: What do you consider your most meaningful work you’ve done creatively so far to you?

Chris: At this stage in my career, I would have to say my micro-chapbook BLERD: ’80s BABY, ’90s KID (Daily Drunk Press, 2021). I co-won my first contest when this was a manuscript, and it has created so many beautiful memories for me since that. For example, I got to perform on various virtual stages with writers like Mahogany Browne, Khalisa Rae, and Meg Pillow. This chapbook was also listed as one of the 300 poetry collections to read in 2021 by The Kenyon Review. It has been amazing to be recognized for my poetry.

Q6: Favorite activities to relax?

Chris: Cycling, mindfulness meditation, listening to hip hop, watching the NBA, and hiking

Q7: What is a favorite line/stanza from a poem of yours or others? Or share are link to a favorite artwork or video.

Chris: “Dinosaurs in the Hood” by Danez Smith is easily one of my favorite poems of all time.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5BXRENTIqRg

Q8: What kind of music do you enjoy? Favorite musical artists, influences, songs that inspire?

Chris: Most people who know me and my work know that hip hop has a major influence on me. But I also love so many other genres. I like almost everything including Ellington, Frédéric Chopin, The Doors, Madonna, Baltimore Club Music, Jah Shaka, and Anita Baker. My musical palette is diverse.

Q9: Any recent or forthcoming projects that you’d like to promote?

Chris: My second chapbook is titled Sacrilegious. It comes out on December 1st of this year with Fahmidan Publishing & Co. I’m so excited to unveil this project to the world. It explores growing up in a religious household during the golden era of hip hop. It is a chapbook of free verse and form poetry, with erasures of popular songs from Tupac’s first album, 2pacalypse threaded throughout it. It has been 25 years since he died, and 30 since that album. I wanted to do something to commemorate that as well.

Bio: Chris L. Butler is an African American and Dutch poet and essayist from Philadelphia and Houston. He is the author of the micro-chapbook BLERD: ’80s BABY, ’90s KID (Daily Drunk Press), and the forthcoming chapbook Sacrilegious (Fahmidan Publishing & Co.). He is the 2021 Kurt Brown Fellow for Diverse Voices in the Solstice MFA Program at Pine Manor College. His work can be found in APIARY Magazine, The Canadian Journal of Poetry & Critical Writing, Trampset, and others. He currently lives and writes from Western Canada. His work has been nominated twice for the Pushcart Prize, and once for the Best of the Net Anthology.

Book link: BLERD: ’80s BABY, ’90s KID (Daily Drunk Press, 2021)  https://www.amazon.com/BLERD-80s-BABY-90s-KID/dp/B09CCC9WL7

A Fevers of the Mind Quick-9 Interview with James Schwartz

with James Schwartz:

Q1: When did you start writing and first influences? Current influences?

James:

I won several awards in school for creative writing and had teachers’ encouragement as well as free reign at the local library. I was searching for my own story, one that reflected my identity as a gay youth in a closed religious community that is hostile to its LGBTQ members and practises shunning, family separation and conversion therapy. 

I was also reading about the world at large, outside my Old Order Amish community. Daniel Defoe, Charles Dickens and Rudyard Kipling were childhood favorites. 

Later in my 20s I read Oscar Wilde, Arthur Rimbaud, Allen Ginsberg, the Beats, Hart Crane, Willa Cather, Truman Capote, James Baldwin, Pat Parker, any LGBTQ writer I could find.  

Q2: Any pivotal moment when you knew you wanted to be a writer?

James: I knew I wanted to write early on but what does an Amish boy from the Midwest have to say about life? I had to sow my wild oats as the Amish say about youthful rebellion however there were a lot of oats to sow! I had to go clubbing and travel and fall in love and find my own way.

Q3: Who has helped you most with writing?

James: In my 20s I wrote almost every night, sometimes with a friend and we would read aloud our odes to drag queens and go go boys on the Kalamazoo gay scene which circa 2000 was a Mecca with Brothers Beta Club and The Zoo Bar, where I gave several poetry readings. I have always felt supported by my LGBTQ community and chosen family. 

Q4: Where did you grow up and how did that influence your writing & have any travels away from home influence your work?

James: I am from the Midwestern, Bukowski, working-class school of poets and from a Swiss Amish background. I inherited the Amish work ethic and try to write 5 nights a week. Fun fact: Today you can see a copy of my poetry collection “The Literary Party: Growing Up Gay and Amish in America” in Obermutten, Switzerland’s International Museum of Friendship! 

Travel always inspires. I have traveled around the US and Mexico and lived in Puna, Hawai’i for 3 years which inspired my book of poetry and photos “Punatic” (Writing Knights Press). When I moved to Puna I had no idea this was an international destination for spiritual refugees. 

Q5: What do you consider your most meaningful work you’ve done creatively so far to you?

James: My first book, “The Literary Party: Growing Up Gay and Amish in America” for the obvious reasons: it was a coming out story from a place where there were no coming out stories. It was a stepping stone to use a poetic metaphor which would lead to the formation of LGBT Amish.com, an online support group and recently co-hosting “Plain Rainbows: LGBTQ Amish and Anabaptist Stories” podcast with Mary Byler (YouTube, Facebook, Podbean platforms).

Q6: Favorite activities to relax?

James: Reading the classics, a mystery novel, biography, history or travel essays. Meditation and nature walks in my free time.

Q7: What is a favorite line/stanza from a poet?

James: Shakespeare’s line in “Hamlet”: “There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.”

Q8: What kind of music do you enjoy?

James: Baroque, jazz, house music depending on the mood. I am also fond of Hawaiian music and watch the Merrie Monarch Festival every year!

Q9: Any recent or forthcoming projects that you’d like to promote?

James: “Punatic” was rereleased in 2020 and I recently contributed to the anthologies “Lovejets: Queer Male Poets on 200 Years of Walt Whitman” (Squares and Rebels Press), “Sweeter Voices Still: An LGBTQ Anthology from Middle America” (Belt Publishing) and “Good Cop/Bad Cop” (FlowerSong Press).

Bio & Links:

James Schwartz is a poet, writer, slam performer, speaker & author.


His book THE LITERARY PARTY: GROWING UP GAY AND AMISH IN AMERICA was published by inGroup Press in 2011 + nominated for a Lambda Literary Award & #ARTFORFREEDOM. Schwartz has also been a PUSHCART PRIZE nominee. 


 Poetry by Schwartz has been published in various journals (SILVER BIRCH PRESS, THE NEW VERSE NEWS, WRITERSRESIST.COM, RIC JOURNAL, HEADLINE POETRY & PRESS, ACROSS THE SOCIAL DISTANCES, TRAIN: A POETRY JOURNAL, OVERGROUND / UNDERGROUND MAGAZINE, ICEFLOE PRESS, FEVERS OF THE MIND) 

+ the anthologies:


AMONG THE LEAVES: QUEER MALE POETS ON THE MIDWESTERN EXPERIENCE (2012)

MILK & HONEY SIREN (2013)


WRITING KNIGHTS PRESS 2014 ANTHOLOGY 


PAGE-A-DAY POETRY ANTHOLOGY 2015


QDA: A QUEER DISABILITY ANTHOLOGY (2015)


DANGEROUS SUBMISSIONS (2017)


CHALLENGING SUBMISSIONS (2017)


#R E S I S T(2017)


GRAND SHOWCASE 2018 


NOT MY PRESIDENT: THE ANTHOLOGY OF DISSENT (2017)


LOVEJETS: QUEER MALE POETS ON 200 YEARS OF WALT WHITMAN(2019) 

POETRY IN THE TIME OF CORONAVIRUS (2020)

MARCH 2020: A COVID-19 ANTHOLOGY  

JUNE 2020: A PANDEMIC ANTHOLOGY 

SWEETER VOICES STILL: AN LGBTQ ANTHOLOGY FROM MIDDLE AMERICA (2021) 

GOOD COP/BAD COP: AN ANTHOLOGY (2021)

+ ALPINE SUITE (2013), POETRY 4 FOOD 2 (2013), POETRY 4 FOOD 3 (2014), ARRIVAL & DEPARTURE (2014), SECULAR, SATIRICAL & SACRED MEDITATIONS (2016), MICHIGAN MEDITATIONS (2016), PUNATIC(2019), SELECTED POEMS (2019), IN THE FAR DISTANCE SO MUCH IS BURNING (2021),  #MARTYRMIRRORS (2021) chapbooks.

 In 2011 Schwartz joined the Three Rivers Community Players for a production of THE ROCKY HORROR SHOW, playing a Phantom. 

He appears in the documentary films THE SEAHORSE + FROM PAHOA WITH LAVA 4.

A slam performer, Schwartz has read at various venues including The Zoo Bar, This is Fire! Kukuau Studio, La Hiki Ola kava bar + speaking at East Hawaii Center for Spiritual Living. 


Essays by Schwartz have appeared in RFD MAGAZINE, THE GOOD MEN PROJECT, OUR HAPPY HOURS: LGBT VOICES FROM THE GAY BARS anthology (winner of a Goldie Award) + short story AMISH ROAD TRIP in JONATHAN: A JOURNAL OF QUEER MALE FICTION & several Amazon Kindle eBooks (VOLCANO SUITE). 

Media appearences include HUFF POST LIVE, DIVERSITY RULES MAGAZINE, SENSA NOSTRA MAGAZINE, SHUNNED PODCAST, THE FORBIDDEN APPLE PODCAST, THE PLAIN PEOPLE’S PODCAST & THE NEW YORK TIMES. 

He co-hosts the podcast Plain Rainbows: LGBTQ Amish and Anabaptist Stories with Mary Byler.

James Schwartz resides in Detroit. 

literaryparty.blogspot.com @queeraspoetry 

Bio: James Schwartz is a poem, slam performer and author of various poetry collections including The Literary Party: Growing Up Gay and Amish in America (Kindle, 2011), Punatic (Writing Knights Press, 2019) & most recently Motor City mix (Alien Buddha Press, 2022)

Literaryparty.blogspot.com @queeraspoetry

A Fevers of the Mind Quick-9 Interview with Thasia Anne Lunger

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.

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?

Thasia:

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.

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