Publish date:

Deborah Hauser: Poet Interview

Please join me in welcoming Deborah Hauser to the Poetic Asides blog.

Deborah Hauser is the author of Ennui: From the Diagnostic and Statistical Field Guide of Feminine Disorders (Finishing Line Press, 2011). She graduated from Stony Brook University with a Masters in English Literature and has taught at Stony Brook University and Suffolk County Community College. Her poetry has appeared in journals such as Dogwood, Dash, The Found Poetry Review, Long Island Quarterly, Poetrybay, 2 Bridges Review, The Long Islander, The Pedestal Magazine, Oberon, Orbis, Mobius, Stony Brook University Press Literary Supplement, and Stony Brook University Press Women’s Studies Department Literary Journal. Her poems are anthologized in various collections, including It’s Animal but Merciful, -gape-seed-, hell strung and crooked, Whispers and Shouts, Long Island Sounds, Brownstone Poets, and Toward Forgiveness. She received third prize in the Farmingdale Poetry and Suffolk County Community College Literary Journal contests and received honorable mentions or was a finalist in the following contests: Nassau County Poet Laureate Society, Goodreads, Great Neck Plaza, Crab Creek Review, and Science Fiction Poetry Association. Learn more at http://deborahhauser.com.

Deborah Hauser (photo by Tony Iovino)

Deborah Hauser (photo by Tony Iovino)

Hauser's chapbook Ennui is a long poem that looks at the word and the condition. Here's an excerpt:

XV

METAPHOR

damp wood that won't spark

XVI

SIMILE

as lifeless as a warm flat glass of diet ginger ale used to treat nausea

XVII

SYMBOLISM

housewife trapped
beneath heavy furniture
that requires constant dust-
ing polishing cleaning

*****

What are you currently up to?

I’m simultaneously working on two projects for full length poetry collections. One is a collection of modern fairy tales with a recurring riot grrrl theme titled (dis)Enchanted: A Grrrls’ Guide to Surviving Happily Ever After. The other is a collection of longer Enuui style poems tentatively titled Asking For It.

Your chapbook Ennui is essentially a long poem that looks at the condition of a bored housewife. What sparked this poem/chapbook?

I was taking a workshop at NYU SCPS with Erica Wright, and she gave me a writing assignment to write a poem that defined a word and provided Les Murray’s poem "The Quality of Sprawl" as an example. After several false starts, I hit on the word “ennui” and the first draft just poured out of me. “Ennui” is a word that had been stuck in my mind since reading Kate Chopin’s The Awakening. I have vivid memories of writing the first draft while riding the train to New York City.

In this chapbook, the sections are clinical and—at times—hilarious; most sections also take up less than half of each page. What are your thoughts on using white space as a poetic device?

In Ennui I think of the white space as the reader’s space. Placing each short section on its own page surrounded by blank space makes room for the reader to enter the poem. Ennui would be a rather long poem if presented without the section breaks. I think the breaks serve to set the pace and encourage the reader to contemplate each section as its own poem before turning the page. It signals the reader that each section is an important statement on its own as well as an integral part of the whole poem.

Your poetry has appeared in numerous journals, including Crab Creek Review and The Pedestal Magazine. Do you have a submission routine?

In theory, I have my current “best” poems in circulation at all times. I keep a list of places I’d like to submit to and send out submissions weekly or monthly.

In current practice, I scramble to get a submission out in response to some deadline.

*****

Find places to publish your poetry!

The 2013 Poet's Market, edited by Robert Lee Brewer, is filled with listings for poetry publications, chapbook publishers, book publishers, contests, grants, and more. Plus, the book offers articles on the craft of poetry, the business of poetry, the promotion of poetry, and actual poems by contemporary poets.

Click to continue.

*****

Also, do you have a writing routine?

In theory, I free write for 10 minutes every day, just as an exercise with no expectation of producing a poem. Usually once a week a free write does develop into a poem. I did this regularly for several years.

In current practice, I write in response to a workshop prompt or when “lightning strikes” and something moves me to put paper to pen (or more likely fingers to keyboard). I also write in response to what I’m reading. After reading a collection of poetry, I’ll write an imitation or tribute poem in the style of the author or put together a found poem using some of my favorite lines from the collection.

Do you have any poetry pet peeves when reading poetry? Are there things you try to avoid in your own poems?

When reading poetry, I’m aware of the weaknesses I’ve worked to overcome in my own writing. For example, weak line breaks are something I’m always on the lookout for in my own work, so I’m hyperaware of that when reading poetry.

Your best poetry experience to date. What is it and why?

Being invited to read at NYU SCPS’ 75th Anniversary event in April 2010. It was a magical evening. I read poems from (dis)Enchanted and felt like Cinderella at the ball. It was an honor to read in that hallowed space in the company of distinguished faculty and fellow students. At the reception after the reading, I met many talented writers and made some special friends with whom I’m still in contact.

Who (or what) are you currently reading?

In general I’m always reading poetry journals, a book of poetry, a novel, feminist theory, and literary criticism. Currently, I’m reading The Anxiety of Influence by Harold Bloom, The Immoralist by Andre Gide, and the latest issue of American Poetry Review. I recently read Sharon Olds, Marie Howe, and Alex Dimitrov. Allison Benis White’s new book is next on my reading list. I go to a lot of poetry readings in New York City. What I’m reading is often inspired by who I’m going to see or have recently seen give a reading. I get together with a friend once a month to read and discuss a book of poetry, and I’ve belonged to a fiction book club for seven years.

If you could share only one piece of advice for other poets, what would it be?

Find your poetry doppelgänger; a special person that you trust to be your first reader. Someone who understands your poetry spirit, is supportive and encouraging, believes in you, and is also capable of giving you an honest critique.

*****

Here are a few more links related to Deborah:

*****

If you're a poet or poetry publisher looking for an interview opp, Poetic Asides may be a good fit. To get the process started, please send an e-mail to robert.brewer@fwmedia.com with the subject line: Poet Interview. Also, interested in guest posts.

Please include a brief note about you and your project.

*****

Find previous poetic posts here:

NaNoWriMo: Making the Most of Community

NaNoWriMo: Making the Most of Community

Books, much like children, sometimes take a village. Let managing editor and fellow WriMo participant Moriah Richard give you tips for engaging with your online and in-person NaNoWriMo community.

From Script

Film and TV Show Reviews and Writing What You Know (From Script)

In this week’s round up brought to us by Script magazine, Script contributor Tom Stempel reviews the latest in film and television show releases, an exclusive interview with Lamb screenwriter Sjón, and much more!

Why We Should Read Middle Grade Fiction as Adults

Why We Should Read Middle Grade Fiction as Adults

Young Adult fiction has surpassed its own demographic by being acceptable to read at any age. Why have we left middle grade fiction out of that equation? Here’s why we should be reading middle grade fiction as adults and as writers.

What Are the 6 Different Types of Editing?

What Are the 6 Different Types of Editing?

When you reach the editing phase of your manuscript, it's important to know what kind of editing you're looking for in particular. Author Tiffany Yates breaks down the 6 different types of editing.

WD Poetic Form Challenge

WD Poetic Form Challenge: Imayo Winner

Learn the winner and Top 10 list for the Writer’s Digest Poetic Form Challenge for the imayo.

Writer's Digest 90th Annual Competition Print or Online Article First Place Winner: "Surfacing an Aquatic Diaspora"

Writer's Digest 90th Annual Competition Print or Online Article First Place Winner: "Surfacing an Aquatic Diaspora"

Congratulations to Elaine Howley, first place winner in the Print or Online Article category of the 90th Annual Writer's Digest Writing Competition. Here's her winning article, "Surfacing an Aquatic Diaspora."

Writer's Digest 90th Annual Competition Script (Stage Play or TV/Movie) First Place Winner: "Jaguar Woman"

Writer's Digest 90th Annual Competition Script (Stage Play or TV/Movie) First Place Winner: "Jaguar Woman"

Congratulations to Olga El, first place winner in the Script (Stage Play or TV/Movie) category of the 90th Annual Writer's Digest Writing Competition. Here's her winning TV Pilot script, "Jaguar Woman."

Writer's Digest 90th Annual Competition Non-Rhyming Poetry First Place Winner: "won't you celebrate with me"

Writer's Digest 90th Annual Competition Non-Rhyming Poetry First Place Winner: "won't you celebrate with me"

Congratulations to Nicole Adabunu, first place winner in the Non-Rhyming Poetry category of the 90th Annual Writer's Digest Writing Competition. Here's her winning poem, "won't you celebrate with me."

Writer's Digest 90th Annual Competition Rhyming Poetry First Place Winner: "She Lives in Underbridge World"

Writer's Digest 90th Annual Competition Rhyming Poetry First Place Winner: "She Lives in Underbridge World"

Congratulations to MF Slattery, first place winner in the Rhyming Poetry category of the 90th Annual Writer's Digest Writing Competition. Here's the winning poem, "She Lives in Underbridge World"