q+a with Lenny DellaRocca
Lenny DellaRocca is the author of Festival of Dangerous Ideas, a poetry collection released on January 1, 2019. Here is a brief interview with the author:
If you could cook dinner for any author, dead or alive, who would it be? What would you make?
John Lennon. I’d make Linguine with garlic and oil.
What scares you the most about the writing process? How do you combat your fears?
I’m always afraid of spending a great deal of time and energy on something that might not turn out. The only way to fight that fear is to plow through, to keep writing until I either finish the poem and am satisfied, or realize I can’t work it out, and abandoned it. That may take years.
Who is your biggest literary crush, author or character?
I love, admire and respect the late poet Lynda Hull. And poet Gjertrud Schnackenberg.
And Denise Duhamel. And Julie Marie Wade… Also Chen Chen….
What books are on your nightstand?
I’m re-reading The Marvelous Arithmetics of Distance by the late Audre Lorde. (Poetry)
And Fire and Fury, Inside the Trump White House by Michael Wolff.
Where do you get your ideas? What inspires you?
Sometimes it’s a memory, sometimes it’s something I hear on the radio- recently I tuned into NPR and came in on the middle of an interview. A man said “The machinery they sent to the heavens”, and I said out loud to my wife- I have to write that poem- that’s has got to be the title, and so it is. And sometimes I read a line of poetry, or a line of fiction that becomes a poem. A new poem I’ve written borrows its title from a line in To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf. I opened the book and came upon the line “What does one send to a lighthouse”? And I thought that would make a great title of a poem. I’m inspired by other poets’ poetry. Sometimes I stop the middle of reading a poem, and start writing. It’s like jazz, you hear a riff, and you play one back.
Favorite punctuation mark? Why?
My favorite right now seems to be the ;
What book were you supposed to read in high school, but never did?
It was The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, but I’ve since read it, albeit 40 years or so late.
What inanimate object would you thank in your acknowledgements?
My pen purchased at Abbey Road Studios in London this past September.
Why do you write? The first 5 words that come to mind. Go.
Imaginary people, dreams, longitude, escape, love.
If you could write an inspirational quote on the mirrors of aspiring writers, what would you write?
Imagine that what you write will be read long after you’re gone.
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