Apr 122018
 

I’d invite Jane Austen [to dinner], whose sharp wit and brilliant control of satire would provide a lively commentary on the current political scene that would no doubt rival Colbert, Oliver, and SNL, among others.”

What was the inspiration behind what you’ll be reading at Waterline?

The inspiration for my chapbook, Ghost Garden, was the desire to connect with my Italian roots. After I retired from teaching a few years ago, I had time to research my family tree and discovered hundreds of Italian ancestors and also a few living cousins with whom I have become close friends. Together we have visited “our” village in southern Italy and walked the cobbled streets of our grandmothers, linking arms with each other and the past.

What are you working on now?

Current projects include preparing for a reading of my latest full-length poetry collection, EDGES, for First Presbyterian Church in Wheaton, and participating in Poetry Month displays at Chicago and suburban libraries.

What was the last great thing you read by another author?

Latest “good reads” include A Gentleman from Moscow by Amor Towles and Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk by Kathleen Rooney. One is by an established author, the other new, and they are polar opposites in plot, style, and characters. But both books are brimming with the kind of exquisite prose, particularly  the “voices” of their narrators, that inspire me as a poet.

You’re organizing a literary dinner party. Which writer, dead or alive, do you invite?

I’d invite Jane Austen, whose sharp wit and brilliant control of satire would provide a lively commentary on the current political scene that would no doubt rival Colbert, Oliver, and SNL, among others.

May 192017
 

… I am sure that the reading of great classic and modern literature through the years, as well as–surprise!–the study of grammar in elementary school–gave me a feel for the language, not only the sound of good poetry but the balanced construction of phrases and ideas.”

How did you discover that you were a writer?

I was always a voracious reader and a good writer in school . I loved my English classes, but by the time I got to college and grad school, academics and music eliminated any time or thought for creative writing. Later, as a high school English teacher, first in Chicago, then in the suburbs, I was assigned to teach Creative Writing, I would write with my students, and they taught me a great deal as we exchanged daily critiques in the classroom.

Describe your writing process.

I don’t have a specific writing process, but I am sure that the reading of great classic and modern literature through the years, as well as–surprise!–the study of grammar in elementary school–gave me a feel for the language, not only the sound of good poetry but the balanced construction of phrases and ideas. My study of Latin, French and Italian also gives me a feel for unusual syntax and vocabulary, which helps me draft a poem, then edit and revise it many times before submitting it to editors of literary journals.

What was the inspiration behind what you’ll be reading at Waterline?

The inspiration behind my writing at Waterline is people! For some reason, important people in my life, both the living and the dead, have been circling me lately, and I’m giving them voice and tribute in this reading.

What are you working on now?

My seventh book of poetry, EDGES, was just published a few months ago, so I am working on spreading the news, and am grateful to Waterline Writers for giving me the opportunity to do just that, both through readings and also my blog, donnapuccianipoet.wordpress.com.