Tomorrow is the official start of the 2019 Sun & Moon Festival, and the Ohio Poetry Association is honored to host Dionne Custer Edwards as a workshop leader! Click here to learn more about Dionne and her workshop, "reWrite."
In the following interview with the Ohio Poetry Association's treasurer, Sayuri Ayers, Dionne shares her insights on the craft of poetry and the natural world.
SA: May you tell us about a memorable experience you’ve had with the natural world?
DCE: A few summers ago, my family and I went to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. We spent time on Lake Michigan and on Lake Huron. I loved getting my three kids out of the city to breathe different air and to move with a different rhythm and pace. I loved staying on the lake and watching the sky change over the water in the mornings and evenings. So beautiful.
SA: Is your poetry influenced by the natural world? If so, please tell us how.
DCE: Not all of my work is influenced by the natural world, but I do write a lot about nature and the environment.
SA: If you could introduce yourself to others through a poem, which poem (yours or one by another poet) would you choose?
DCE: I like “blessing the boats,” by Lucille Clifton. I also often return to the poem “Harness,” by Jane Hirshfield.
SA: What element(s) of craft do you focus on in your poetry?
DCE: I often pursue sound and rhythm.
SA: How would you encourage poets who are navigating the current political/cultural climate? Is there a poem that has helped you?
DCE: I encourage poets to continue to read, write, and exist on this earth as best as one can. Be safe. Be well.