Katherine Seluja | Interview

Kenneth P. Gurney. Tells us how you started in poetry? What age?

Katherine DiBella Seluja. I started in poetry at age seven when I began piano lessons. Fifteen years of classical music study laid rhythm and meter down into my bones.

KPG. What is your favorite sandwich?

KDS. Grilled cheese and green chile.

KPG. Does your university degree(s) influence your writing of poetry and how?

KDS. Although my university degrees are not specifically in fine arts, they nurtured my questioning mind, so I would say yes.

KPG. Is there any endeavor that you are passionate about outside of poetry? How does it enrich you?

KDS. Providing healthcare to recent immigrants. It helps to build my compassion.

KPG. Tell us about one of your favorite poetry experiences.

KDS. I was invited to read at the poetry festival in Carbondale, CO (special thanks to Stewart Warren). I was planning on reading several poems from my forthcoming book that is dedicated to my brother. The date I ended up reading on was the anniversary of his passing. It was very powerful for me.

KPG. Do you have a connection to the American Civil War? Relative who served? Visited a battlefield and have a story?

KDS. I have visited several of the Civil War battle locations but have no particular connection with them other than the firm belief or endearing fantasy that I was a field surgeon in a past life.

KPG. If you could wave a magic wand and place a poetry book into every high school English classroom as required reading, which one would it be and why?

KDS. That is an incredibly difficult question to answer but I would say an anthology that includes lots of slam work.

KPG. Where was your last selfie taken?  With anyone?

KDS. At Christmas, with one of the loves of my life, my granddaughter, Stella Rose.

KPG. Recommend a poetry (or literary) website that you frequent.

KDS. Connotation Press.

KPG. What is your favorite National Park? Why?

KDS. Three-way tie between Mesa Verde, Grand Canyon and Yellowstone. Powerful life events related to all of them.

KPG. Do you have a dream that you work toward achieving at this time? If so, please tell us about it.

KDS. Becoming conversationally fluent in my mother tongue, Italian.

KPG. If there is a little known poet you think everyone should read, who is that poet and which book of theirs should we seek?

KDS. I don’t know if it’s fair to call her little known but I would highly suggest Danielle Deulen’s Lovely Asunder.

KPG. If you could be present at any moment in history as a safe observer or unsafe participant, what event would you visit and why?

KDS. Probably that field surgeon in the Civil War, definitely active participant. But walking from Selma to Montgomery with Martin Luther King is up there also.

KPG. What reoccurring themes have you noticed in your poetry over the years?  Is there a point of personal experience you revisit often?

KDS. Grief, grief, grief. Lots of personal family loss in my background.

KPG. Green, Red or Christmas when you order Huevos Rancheros?

KDS. Green, always.

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