Poetic Inspiration with Kate Hargreaves | Book*hug Press

Poetic Inspiration with Kate Hargreaves

Next up in our “Poetic Inspiration” series is Kate Hargreaves, author of tend

B*: Please share up to three poetry books or poets that are important to you, and helped influence the writing of tend. Please also share how they influenced your book.

KH: Brute by Emily Skaja – I picked this collection up on a whim while in New Orleans just before the pandemic lockdowns in 2020, and when I was in the early stages of writing tend. I remember reading it on the plane home and being struck by the timeless quality of Skaja’s poems, in which people and settings seemed unanchored by specific timeframes or eras but were still absolutely grounded, both bodily and by the natural environment around them. Her writing is at once soft and also has teeth, and that was strongly influential on how I approached the tone in tend.

Croak by Jenny Sampirisi – Jenny read from Croak at the University of Windsor when I was either in late undergrad or early grad school, and this collection has stuck with me since. The bodily focus and arguably body horror, the language play and genre-bending, the use of sound, the repetition, and the blurring of human and natural world are all aspects that I have played with in various ways in my writing since.

Joy is So Exhausting by Susan Holbrook – Susan was one of my first writing instructors at UWindsor and the first person to introduce me to poetry as something playful, experimental, and unexpected. Her poetry reflects all of these qualities, and I find myself returning to this collection again and again for both its tenderness and biting wit. Her work reminds me that poetry does not have to be intimate or disjunctive but can be both of these and more.

B*: Please share a writing prompt for aspiring poets that you have used to start composing a new poem.

KH: Pick 7 concrete nouns (anything that you could throw). Arrange them in a random order, and write your poem around the words.


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