Deborah Purdy: Poet Interview

Publish date:

2014 April PAD Challenge countdown: 4. Yes, I'm excited--so excited--and I just can't hide it. As a quick FYI, we now have 29 confirmed guest judges. I hope to have the list finalized by Monday. View who's already on board here.

Deborah Purdy lives in Pennsylvania where she writes poetry and creates fiber art. Originally from Virginia, she earned BA and MA degrees from Hollins University. She also has an MSLS from Clarion University. She has been a research scientist and a reference librarian. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in River & South Review, Apeiron Review, The Milo Review, and The Found Poetry Review.

Here's her Top 25 poem:

Holding, by Deborah Purdy

hold that ghost
like a bird
in your hand,
let your fingers
form the fleeting
wall between
now and then
beginnings and
hold lightly
like a tentative
thought but
closer than a
transient breath
then breathe
and let it


Where are you located?


Who are your favorite poets?

Mary Oliver, Joyce Sutphen, Linda Pastan, and Naomi Shihab Nye, among others.

As a reader, what do you like most in poems?

The imaginative use of language and being able to relate to what I am reading.

What were your goals for the 2013 April PAD Challenge?

I wanted to develop the habit of writing every day, and hopefully, in the process, generate a few finished poems.

What's next for you?

In addition to continuing to write and to submit for publication, I’d like to put together a collection of poems.


Get your poetry published!

Click here to learn how.


Robert Lee Brewer

Robert Lee Brewer

Robert Lee Brewer is Senior Content Editor of the Writer's Digest Writing Community and the author of Solving the World's Problems. Follow him on Twitter @robertleebrewer.


Find more poetic fun here:


Making the Switch from Romance to Women’s Fiction

In this article, author Jennifer Probst explains the differences between romance and women's fiction, the importance of both, and how you can make the genre switch.


Stephanie Wrobel: On Writing an Unusual Hero

Author Stephanie Wrobel explains how she came to write about mental illness and how it affects familial relationships, as well as getting inside the head of an unusual character.


Who Are the Inaugural Poets for United States Presidents?

Here is a list of the inaugural poets for United States Presidential Inauguration Days from Robert Frost to Amanda Gorman. This post also touches on who an inaugural poet is and which presidents have had them at their inaugurations.


Precedent vs. President (Grammar Rules)

Learn when to use precedent vs. president with Grammar Rules from the Writer's Digest editors, including a few examples of correct usages.

Poetry Prompt

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 554

Every Wednesday, Robert Lee Brewer shares a prompt and an example poem to get things started on the Poetic Asides blog. This week, write a future poem.


New Agent Alert: Tasneem Motala of The Rights Factory

New literary agent alerts (with this spotlight featuring Tasneem Motala of The Rights Factory) are golden opportunities for new writers because each one is a literary agent who is likely building his or her client list.


Timothy Miller: The Alluring Puzzle of Fact and Fiction

Screenwriter and novelist Timothy Miller explains how he came to write historical fiction and how research can help him drive his plot.


Dr. Munish Batra and Keith R.A. DeCandido: Entertainment and Outrage

Authors Dr. Munish Batra and Keith R.A. DeCandido explain how they came to co-write their novel and why it's important to them that the readers experience outrage while reading.