eight questions with jenifer wills

jenifer wills is quickly becoming one of our favorite poets (and people) in all of the small press.  she is the co-owner of the best poetry/writing forum on these here internets: Literary Mary

mary…er…uh…jenifer also puts out a kick ass annual journal (also called Literary Mary) filled with writing that is “beautiful, unusual and eclectic.”  a book of her own poetry Skidding Through the Mud Incognito, was published last year.  you should get it.  rich, powerful stuff.

she has been a very welcome addition to nibble, having appeared in issues four, five and (soon) seven.

and now, here are eight questions with jenifer wills:

What is your role in the small press?

My role in the small press?  Hmm.  First and foremost, I see myself as a struggling poet.  In this society, you have less chance making a living as a poet than you have becoming a rock star, an NBA basketball star, or winning the lottery.  It just doesn’t happen unless you are very very lucky.  Sadly, talent often doesn’t have a lot to do with it.  This is true even of the small press.  If you’re colorful, people are more likely to look.  If you are a woman, people are more likely to look if you have nice legs, great breasts or if you are angry.  This segueways nicely into my second role, which is that of web owner and publisher.  I bitch a lot about the work it takes to run LiteraryMary and to get the journal printed, but at the end of the day I’m happy to help as many people as I can in the process of becoming better writers and getting their voices heard. 

What is one thing people should know about you?

I think that people should know that they are more than welcome to get to know me if they would like to know that one thing.  Come on, Jeff… I’m far too deep for this question.  *laying back of hand on forehead dramatically*

What are you working on right now that has you excited?

Aside from therapy?  I’ll leak a secret.  I am working on an online addition to the LiteraryMary journal.  It is the first of what, I hope, will become many online publications we use to compliment our once-yearly print journal.  This one will have a focus on women in the small press.  I’ve noticed that the small press tends to be a bit incestuous.  It also tends to be a bit slanted toward the secksy male writers.  When women are spotlighted, you also tend to get the same names over and over.  There are a handful of go-to girls, but there are a billion women writing well who aren’t necessarily getting the attention they deserve.  I wanted to do something to draw some of the attention to them.  As for follow up online ventures, I am always open to suggestions.

Name one thing you wish you had.

Money.  Money equals freedom.

Name one thing you have that you could do without.

Television.  I don’t really like it.  It is too noisy.

Who is your favorite small press poet?

For me, that is easy.  Father Luke.  He makes it look effortless. 

Name one small press poetry mag, other than nibble, that everyone should read?

pssshhhhh.  The LiteraryMary print journal, of course. We are opening for submissions again this June.  Better get them in this year.  I’m like one of those seasoned action stars in the movies who utters the phrase ‘I’m getting to old for this shit’ as he’s driving into some impossible situation to rescue the damsel in distress.

Where do you want to see your own poetry?

I wouldn’t mind having some pieces in Burnside Review.  I think this is just because it’s local and respected, and you can buy it in Powell’s.

here are jenifer’s poems, as they appeared in nibble:

My Vision Hasn’t Been Anywhere Near 20/20
for Quite Some Time

The entire reason I’m sitting here
right now at this antique desk
in a darkened room
in front of a glowing screen
in an uncomfortable chair that squeaks
each time I shift
my body to get comfortable,
is simply to say
that if I could do it all over
again, I would enjoy each and every second
of you more and worry about
losing you less. 

The longer I type the more
I wonder why
I would ruin this poem
by saying anything more.

+++++

Life, Unruly

Each of us,
with a wish cupped
in our hands,
delicate.

Each life,
we attempt
to direct
dam, divert,
only to watch it flood,
overflow.

Each love,
eventually washed
away.

+++++

Wife and Mother

On the ledge
below the window
where she stands
to do the dishes,
she keeps
a bone box filled with amber,
a picture of her mother at age five,
a glass candle with Mary
another with Jesus,
and a silver pickle fork,
stuck  into the wooden pane.
The window
looks onto
the world outside
of where
she stands
to do the dishes.

check back every friday for a new eight!  you can view past eights by clicking on the ‘eight’ link to the right.

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~ by nibblepoems on May 1, 2009.

5 Responses to “eight questions with jenifer wills”

  1. Jenifer is an important voice in the small press. It’s nice to
    see her being recognized. Thanks Jeff.

    I liked Jenifer’s answers. And the quality of her poems usually
    pleasantly surprise me. I wasn’t disappointed. I was particularly
    taken with Wife and Mother. It’s not that it captured a moment, so
    much as created one.

    – –
    Okay,
    Father Luke

  2. I agree, Father Luke, Jenifer is one of the good ones….and there aren’t that many!

  3. Isn’t that jenifer.wills?

  4. If that represents your clitoris, then yes.

    – –
    Okay,
    Father Luke

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