Holly Lyn Walrath
1, Tell us about you, and your writing (themes, influences, etc.)
I like to self-identify as a “weird writer,” which basically applies to everything I do creatively. I don’t write in one specific length but tend to flit between poetry, flash fiction, and now I’m even working on a novella. I write in a variety of genres from sci-fi to fantasy, but all of my work tends to have a weird, speculative, fantastical, or surreal element.
I think one of the themes I’m working through right now is what it means to be a woman in today’s world and more specifically how we can gain strength from reimagining our bodies as fantastic. My work often deals with the emotions of guilt and grief. A reviewer called my latest book, Glimmerglass Girl, “at once violent and delicately beautiful,” and I think that basically sums it up. I like dark things, but I want to show people how they can be beautiful.
2, What are some of the ways in which you promote your work, and do you find these add, or eat into, your time writing?
This is a never-ending struggle for me! My work appears on Amazon, Goodreads, Twitter, Facebook, Medium, and a variety of other little caverns on the internet. It’s a lot of work to keep everyone up to date on my work right now because I’m in a very prolific period of writing and I’ve been so blessed to have many people support my work. Even though I often feel burnt out, I recognize that it’s important for writers to promote their own work. No one else can shout the praises of your work as well as you. Who else is going to say, “I love this weird little thing that I pulled out of myself, won’t you take it home with you and love it too?”
3, What projects are you working on at present?
Right now I’m finishing up revisions on my space-opera-pirates-thanos-y novella. (Official title TBD, ha.) It’s basically about a character whose battling her own inner demons. I’m also working on a series of tiny poems that I hope to make into a book. And there’s still my erasure poetry series to finish, which is all erasures of male canonical authors. Uhh… did I mention I’m an overachiever??
4, What does poetry mean to you?
Edward Hirsch, one of my favorite poets, says that “Reading poetry is an adventure in renewal, a creative act, a perpetual beginning, a rebirth of wonder.” He talks about how the poem has to journey a very long way to get to the reader—all the way from inside my weird mind to the page, where I just hope that the right reader will find it. But to me, when you find a poem that speaks to you, it’s like lightning has struck a dark place. Everything becomes clear and brilliant. That’s my goal in writing poetry—to shine a light into the dark crevices of the world. To build a bridge. To burn a hole in a paper and then view the sun through it.