By Ginger Cox
Kristin Roedell was nominated for DZANC’s Best of the Web, 2010, and the Pushcart Prize, 2010. She’s the author of Seeing in the Dark (Tomato Can Press 2009) and Girls With Gardenias (Flutter Press 2011). She recently accepted a positions as Associate Editor for Flutter Press and Grants Coordinator for VoiceCatcher. You are a former lawyer turned poet. How did that transformation occur?
I learned after years of practicing law that I was ill-suited for the conflict and pressure that comes with that profession; yet there was a part of it that I needed. I frequently represented women undergoing some sort of transition, usually through the process of divorce and/or custody proceedings. When I spoke for these women at trial, the creative part of me gave a voice not only to them, but also to a part of me that needed expression. So, in a sense, I was also representing myself. I ultimately retired and, after some years, I discovered that I still had a voice that needed expression. That’s when I began to write; this time the voice does not come wrapped in conflict. For me, writing poetry is a peaceful process. Tell us about your creative process? Do you have a writing routine? A favorite place to write?
I make a commitment to myself to go to a coffee shop three days a week and, while there, write something new. I try to work without judgment, just getting something down on that piece of paper. The other parts of my writing process, such as revision and editing, I do on my home computer. For the past three years, I’ve worked with Jana Harris, a professor teaching poetry at the University of Washington, first as a student in her class at the college and later as a private student. She’s an important part of my creative process, offering an objective view to my work. You’ve just accepted the position of Grants Coordinator with the VoiceCatcher Collective. Are you excited? How will you go about securing grants for our organization?
I’m looking forward to helping VoiceCatcher continue to develop and expand its mission. Right now, I’m working to find grants available online. Sometimes this can be a frustrating process. There are many grants available to support individual writers, but far fewer for groups working towards that purpose. Tell us about your latest chapbook release.I’m very pleased to be published by Flutter Press. I’ve known Sandy Benetiz for several years; she was the founder and editor of Flutter Journal, and continues as editor for Flutter Press. She has an elegant, delicate style in both her own work and in her editorial taste. I also like that she frequently publishes poetry by women.You’ve just accepted a position as an associate editor of Flutter. What does that entail?I accepted this position shortly after my chapbook was accepted by Flutter. Sandy Benetiz continues as head editor, working with our writers as they move forward with edits and production. I review new submissions and make decisions as to their acceptance or rejection.
Any good reads to recommend to the community?
The Age of Innocence, Ethan Frome, and The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton.
Is there something in your life right now you just can’t get enough of—maybe a favorite restaurant, food, or film?
Recently I’ve been consumed by a television series called Brothers and Sisters with the wonderful Sally Fields. This show is no longer airing but is available on Netflix. There are four series, with twenty-three episodes each year. I just finished a marathon viewing of the first. I’m likely to remain immersed until I’ve finished them all; I never just dip my toe in, I dive.
Any advice, writing or otherwise, for our VoiceCatcher community?
As a writer, I’ve come to realize that I have to set specific goals in order to make progress. I try to work towards a group of six to seven poems that I feel are polished enough to submit. Then I research the market through the extensive database of literary journals available through Poets & Writers. I read the work that a given journal has published in the past and then compare it to my own style. I’ve learned that my work is most often published by journals that focus on women’s writing. I have aspirations for my writing; recently, someone told me that the difference between a dream and a goal is an action plan. I believe that.