An Interview with Grace Cavalieri
Senior Editor of December Literary Magazine, Ron A. Austin, sat down with Grace Cavalieri for an exciting and rapid fire (if, sadly, slim) look at the author behind Other Voices, Other Lives, the second installment in ASP’s Legacy Series. Read the whole interview here
How do your personal experiences manifest in your work? When, if ever, do you feel the need to adjust things in your work (settings, characters, etc.) to protect people in your life?
Great question as it hinges on the moral life of the writer. I do not believe a work of art is worth one single person. I could never exploit my family or friends as subjects for poems if it betrayed intimacy or personal details that don’t belong to me and the reader has not earned. However, I plunder my own life all day long. I think each of my characters has a piece of my emotional life. I always say, It’s all fiction but the feelings.
How does a poem begin for you, with an idea, a form, or an image?
Sometimes I engage in a method of starting with 10 words to see where they lead me. In fact, I’ve established a poetry group where we provide each other 10 words, monthly, and take it from there. Fascinating outcomes. It’s fun to let language do the talking sometimes.
Many times I write from dreams because the potency wants to be heard; more often, I recall an incident and tell its story as narrative.
Which four writers (dead or alive) would you invite to a dinner party?
Louise Gluck (but I’d be too nervous to cook)
Edna St. Vincent Millay
Juan Felipe Hererra