Q1: When did you start writing and who has influenced you the most?
Annie: I started making poems at age 9 and my biggest poetic influences , in chronological order, were my mother (also a poet), Bob Dylan, Hart Crane, Emily Dickinson, and Audre Lorde.
Q2: Any pivotal moment when you knew you wanted to be a writer?
Annie: When I was six and just learning to write, I carried a piece of paper with the word Robin and my picture of a robin on it home from school . When I entered the yard, there was a dead robin, something I had never seen before. I buried the bird and put the paper above its grave. That experience is key to the memoir I am writing. It gave me the idea that words were powerful magic.
Q3: Who has helped you most with writing and career?
Annie: My readers and students.
Q4: Where did you grow up and how did that influence you? Have any travels influenced your work?
Annie: I grew up just outside New York City, which helped me to be influenced by art and politics–and I spent a lot of time in a rustic cabin in Maine with no roads or electricity, which helped me to be influenced by nature and spirit. And my travels in Egypt, Greece, Africa, and India showed me how most people, even when they are poor, live in much healthier, kinder, and more meaningful ways than we do in the US.
Q5: What do you consider your most meaningful work creatively to you?
Annie: So far, my book SPELLS , which gathers 40 years worth of poetry. My new book, COVEN, feels even more meaningful, but it isn’t published yet.
Q6: What are your favorite activities to relax?
Annie: I am an amateur, occasional painter. I love to gather with a few other witches and make magic together to celebrate the seasons. I also enjoy yoga, dancing, hiking, and dinner parties.
Q7: What is a favorite line/stanza from your writings?
Annie: Point your fire like a flower, from my “Summer Solstice Chant.” Sometimes at the end of a reading, the audience and I really get into chanting it for good long while.
Q8: What kind of music inspires you the most? What is a song or songs that always come back to you as an inspiration?
Annie: I love world music, blues, opera, and the chants sung at Goddess festivals–one of my favorites is the classic, “We all come from the Goddess/and to her we shall return/like a drop of rain/flowing to the ocean…”
Q9: Do you have any recent or upcoming books, music, events, projects that you would like to promote?
Annie: My most recent book, The Poetry Witch Little Book of Spells. It’s a fun, pocket-size collection of the most inspirational moments from my bigger book, Spells. For any poets out there, I also love to promote my classes on writing on meter, which can change your life–find me on Eventbrite or sign up for my Spellsletter at anniefinch.com
Bio: Annie Finch is an award-winning poet whose writings embody and explore the matrix of poetry, magic, and matricultures. Her books include six books of poetry, most recently Spells: New and Selected Poems, as well as books and essays on poetry, meter, feminism, and witchcraft; verse plays; a poetry textbook; and nine anthologies including Choice Words, a landmark collection of literature on abortion. Annie teaches workshops and retreats on Poetry Witchery for poets, witches, and everyone in between. She earned her Ph.D from Stanford University and has performed and lectured widely at universities including Berkeley, Harvard, and Oxford and women’s conferences and spiritual venues including Emerging Women and Deepak Chopra’s Homespace. Sign up for Annie’s Spellsletter, full of news and inspiration, at anniefinch.net.