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An Interview with Erika L. Sanchez
Here’s a snippet where Sanchez talks about the differences between writing poems and journalistic pieces:
JS: In addition to being a talented poet, you also write articles for The Huffington Post and NBC Latino. How do you approach writing articles as opposed to poetry? Do you have a writing regimen for either form? Do you find that your poetry and the articles you write have similar themes and/or topics?
ES: Usually, a poem begins as an image that gets stuck in my brain. I see or hear something grotesque or beautiful or both that startles me and then I become obsessed with it until it becomes a poem. Sometimes it takes me years to complete a poem. Sometimes they require me to leave them alone for months and months before I can revise them again. I know it sounds new agey and kind of mystical, but the poems tell me what they want. I also do a lot of writing exercises and free writing to make myself come up with fresh new language. Poetry feels like my brain giving birth to something painful and grotesque.
My prose, however, is mostly a reaction to anger. Honestly, most of my articles are about things I’m pissed off about. I can make myself sit down and write about domestic violence or racism, for example, but I can’t do the same with poetry. That always ends badly. I can also use humor in my prose, which I find nearly impossible to do when writing poems. Poetry is also so painstaking and image-driven for me. I find both genres liberating in completely different ways.
Full interview here.