My Interviews

Carpe Noctem Interview: Trish Hopkinson with Nicole Rollender re: my new chapbook “Footnote”

Carpe Noctem is the blog and amazing interview series of friend and fellow poet Nicole Rollender where she graciously interviewed me about my new chapbook Footnote, recently published by Lithic Press. Her interviews dig deep into the manuscript and publishing process, asking poets about the details of their creation/revision processes, the poetry they love, and poetry life in a way that makes it easy to share personal experiences. It was such a pleasure to respond to her questions! Click below to read the complete interview.


Here are a couple of the questions/responses from the interview:

Let's start with the book's title and your cover image. How did you choose each? And, if I asked you to describe or sum up your chapbook, what three words immediately come to mind?
Originally the chapbook was entitled after the last poem in the collection: "Footnote to a Footnote." I hadn't fully taken advantage of the theme--all the poems in the collection are response poems--until Lithic Press sent me the first galleys and suggested the title be shortened to Footnote. That's really when the final formatting and the concept of including a footnote on each poem to indicate what originally inspired me to write it. If I were to sum up the theme in a phrase, I'd use exactly that: response poems.

What do you love to find in a poem you read, or love to craft into a poem you're writing?
Stunning, unique metaphors are my favorite. I love to see modern objects and concepts turned into metaphors to give additional meaning. For example, I absolutely loved Chen Chen's chapbook Kissing the Sphinx for its creative and meaningful use of things like Power Rangers, Mr. Rogers, The Reading Rainbow, Sarah Jessica Parker, Q-Tips, and Ultimate Frisbee to name a few. I haven't quite figured out how to do this within my own work as effectively as Chen has. I'm going to keep working at it. One of the things I really like to do for my own poems to create more unique metaphors is to key in on a specific noun and then do some research to find a new metaphor. For example, in my poem "Bone Music" forthcoming in Contrary, I came across the story of old x-ray films being re-used as the medium for copying censored records in 1950s Russia. I was able to incorporate it into a poem about my son's recovery from a near-death accident he was in a couple of years ago.

Here’s what Rollender had to say about Footnote:

“What elegant control and preciseness in Trish Hopkinson's chapbook, Footnote. These response poems pay homage to the greats--artists, singers, filmmakers and other writers like Amiri Baraka, Octavio Paz, Sylvia Plath, Emily Dickinson, Rainer Maria Rilke, Ai, Janis Joplin, and Pablo Neruda. In "A Room Made of Poetry," a found poem from Laura Hamblin's The Eyes of a Flounder, Hopkinson writes: "Here you can wait,/ with desire, with/ roots exposed/ for an open womb. That heart-balm/ as hope./ The raw bent/-- a bowl of fruit/  in a language I never knew . . ." This is exactly the feeling these poems evoke: in the rhythm of response and found poems, and forms like reverse snowballs and erasures, Hopkinson covers so much ground, giving readers a taste of art from across the centuries and the world. Footnote must simply be savored and re-read.” -Nicole Rollender, author of Louder Than Everything You Love and Ghost Tongue

Courtesy: Rick Urbanowski Photography

A 2017 recipient of a New Jersey Council on the Arts poetry fellowship, Nicole Rollender is the author of the poetry collection Louder Than Everything You Love (Five Oaks Press) and the chapbooks Absence of Stars (dancing girl press & studio), Bone of My Bone (Blood Pudding Press), Ghost Tongue (Porkbelly Press, 2016) and Arrangement of Desire (Pudding House Publications). She is associate editor at THRUSH Poetry Journal. Her poetry has been published in The Adroit Journal, Alaska Quarterly Review, Best New Poets 2014, Harpur Palate, The Journal, MiPOesias, Radar Poetry, Ruminate Magazine, PANK, Salt Hill JournalTHRUSH Poetry Journal and West Branch, among others. Nicole's poem "Rise Up" is the winner of CALYX Journal's 2014 Lois Cranston Memorial Prize. She's also the winner of the 2012 Princemere Journal’s Poetry Prize for her poem "Quickening," as well as Ruminate Magazine’s 2012 Janet B. McCabe Poetry Prize for her poem "Necessary Work," chosen by Li-Young Lee. She received her MFA from The Pennsylvania State University.

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