Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Writer Wednesday - Jennifer Hanks

I was lucky enough to meet Jennifer Hanks while we were both at Sarah Lawrence.  We met for the first time freshman year during an extremely short-lived writing group (funnily enough, one of the founders of that group also went to NYU and graduated a year before me), but really grew close while we worked together on the Sarah Lawrence Poetry Festival in 2008.  Her poetry is as beautiful as her heart is kind, so I hope you'll read some of it after you finish this interview.

Jen's pretty amazing author photo.

Who are you? I'm Jennifer Hanks. I'm a poet currently pursuing an MFA at the University of New Orleans. I live in a small green house with two cats and (several) ghosts.

Where can you be found online? Do you have a blog or other online receptacle for your work? I have some poems up/forthcoming on Muzzle Magazine, Word Riot, and Soft Blow Poetry Journal. I also have a poetry tumblr where I post drafts in progress at:

I'm interested in the apocalypse as a metaphor for the ecological disasters looming in our planet's future, and I'm currently working on a series of poems related to this. I've also been working for a while on a series about cabinets of curiosity. My poems tend to feature girls, sea monsters, and my cats.

What inspired you to start writing/blogging? When did it happen? I've been writing poetry for as long as I can remember, but I started sending my work to journals after graduating from Sarah Lawrence. I am the opposite of web-savvy, but my girlfriend convinced me to start a tumblr, and I admit it's been a really nice way of keeping track of drafts and connecting with other poets.

Your writing inspires me. Who inspires you?  Anne Carson is my favorite living poet and William Blake is an enduring influence. I'm inspired by contemporary writers like Traci Brimhall, Ada Limon, and Richard Siken.

In keeping with the admittedly loose travel theme of Not Intent On Arriving, if you could have an all-expenses paid trip anywhere in the world, where would you go? I would go to Cairns, Australia to scuba dive in the Great Barrier Reef!

What is your favorite place on earth? My favorite place is in a large body of water. I not so secretly think I'm from the sea. As far as cities go, New York is the place I think of when I think of home.

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