Trish Hopkinson has always loved words—in fact, her mother tells everyone she was born with a pen in her hand. A Pushcart nominated poet, she has been published in several anthologies and journals, including Stirring, Pretty Owl Poetry, and Chagrin River Review; and her third chapbook Footnote was published by Lithic Press in 2017. Hopkinson is co-founder of a regional poetry group, Rock Canyon Poets, and Editor-in-Chief of the group’s annual poetry anthology entitled Orogeny. She is a product director by profession and resides in Utah with her handsome husband and their two outstanding children. You can follow Hopkinson on her blog where she shares information on how to write, publish, and participate in the greater poetry community at https://trishhopkinson.com/.
Why do I call myself a selfish poet? Why do I do what I do?
F: On your blog, you call yourself “a selfish poet.” What do you mean by that?
TH: Several years ago I set writing aside, decided I needed to organize myself first and essentially de-prioritized it. Years past and I found myself emotionally ok, but definitely not content. Something was missing. I wound up at a small poetry slam event and quickly realized what was missing. I started writing again immediately and haven’t looked back since. Sure, I am happy to support the literary arts in any way I can, but ultimately, I do all of this for me. An extra benefit is that it also makes me emotionally more accessible to my family and friends.” — Read more about me in this interview – The Fem’s “Featured Friday | Meet Trish Hopkinson.”
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What others are saying about my blog…
“My choice for this week’s Writer of the Week: Trish Hopkinson! She is a bit of a walking revolution; I found Trish through various online women’s writers’ groups. Ms. Hopkinson’s enthusiasm and talent for poetry, is boundless.”–Lisa Nanette Allender
“From event listings to calls for submissions, @trishhopkinson’s site is a poets’ paradise”–Wordpress Discover tweet
“Trish Hopkinson may describe herself as a ‘selfish poet,’ but her site is an indispensable community hub for poetry lovers, with news and event listings, writing resources, and much more (including her own poems, of course).”–Wordpress Discover feature
“Another layer, perhaps, of the ‘Selfish Poet’ is the honest admission that literary success is measured not only through the development of craft but also the publication, dissemination, and appreciation of one’s work. Hopkinson’s site is a generous guide to pursuing all of these goals.” –Emily Jaeger, Features Editor of Woven Tale Press
“Although her tagline is ‘A Selfish Poet,’ she may be the most unselfish blogger I have come across. In fact, if the motto of my state’s writer’s association is ‘writers helping writers,’ Hopkinson’s motto could easily be ‘poets helping poets.'” –Bryan Pitchford
What others are saying about my poetry…
“Inventive, original and a great sense of humor alongside very serious subjects. [Trish has] great skill in writing form as well as free verse.” —League of Utah Writers
“Breathless and uncompromising. A voice of a poet and the banquet of words carefully chosen to divulge the corners of our lives so often painted over. A poet of non gender a woman of high esteem. It so happens, I really enjoyed discovering this Poet.” –Franco Esposito, editor of PoetryPasta
“How difficult to tell the devastating truth without artificially sweetening it — nor mawkishly embellishing it. A special thing to be able to mourn and make sense of it. And to be able somehow to lift up the mourner without device. Yes, these are poems of loss, but who reads them gains. That’s the very best poetry can do.” –Firestone Feinberg, editor of Verse-Virtual
“It’s hard to find good prose poets, and Trish is one of them. Ginsberg was one of them, ‘A Supermarket in California’ proves that much. If Trish was born in a different decade, perhaps she’d be enshrined in the poetic lore with the rest of the beatniks who hit the road, bound for infamy.”–Justin Hilliard, editor-and-chief for The Chaotic Review
Praise for Footnote…
“She holds a handful of earth— / she must say it to understand it.” This scene, from a poem that engages Rainer Maria Rilke as well as Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, is a gorgeously emblematic and enigmatic moment in Trish Hopkinson’s Footnote. This collection is obsessed with the miracle of words and the mouths that say them, the bodies that carry them out and back in, deliciously, deliriously. From Emily Dickinson to Amiri Baraka to David Lynch to Sylvia Plath to Pablo Neruda to Janis Joplin, these poems perform erasures, palimpsests, collages, ventriloquisms, haunted monologues, dreams in which the physical dances with the metaphysical so that the stormy dream of language can enter us. And then we see how “we are driven by our own ceremonies, / by whirling words.” Hopkinson understands that the best conversation is a transformation, in which the words one has inherited are reinvented. Footnote reminds us that the act of saying is something we may never fully understand—and that is cause for whirling joy.
–Chen Chen, author of When I Grow Up I Want to Be a List of Further Possibilities
“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
“In Trish Hopkinson’s first chapbook, Footnote, she writes, “The human past stands still,” yet she manages to bring these pasts back to life with response poems that converse with and memorialize not only poets, but also filmmakers and musicians. Take these lines, describing an experience of listening to Janis Joplin: The maniac screams. / Her lips touch my face. / Her palm presses madly / at the back of my neck, squeezes my collar and jerks / me in neurotic movement. Reader, you are in for delight from the first poem to the last.”
–Bernard Grant, author of Puzzle Pieces
“These astonishing tributes are a heady mix of the concrete and the abstract, of sensuality and cerebralism. Be prepared to experience “the ink-smell of report cards and recipe boxes,” to feel your “insides vibrato” amidst “the sweltering prick/ of poppies.” “I turned thirty & left/ god roadside to hitchhike his way home,” Hopkinson reports in a tribute to Allen Ginsberg. What’s a reader to do but surrender?”
–Ann Tweedy, author of The Body’s Alphabet
“In Footnote, Trish Hopkinson dives into the messy, gritty, dark and beautiful conversations of the literati. Through her poems we are reminded that art is an ongoing conversation between creator and audience as both seek to illuminate the human condition. Hopkinson wraps herself in the language of Dickinson, Poe, Carol, Joyce – sometimes responding extemporaneously, sometimes utilizing erasure, pastiche, or invented forms to more closely examine, and even subvert, their voices. Like O’Hara, she recognizes that artistic disciplines are richer for cross-pollination, and includes responses to filmmakers and musicians. More than an addendum or explanation, Footnote is an invitation to explore, engage, and rework the modern poetic legacy. Pull up a chair and have a seat at the table.”
–Sonja Johanson, author of Trees in Our Dooryards and all those ragged scars