Kenneth P. Gurney. Tells us how you started in poetry? What age?
Pamela Sinicrope. I started writing poetry so I could trade poems with my grandmother who was a published poet. I was 12 when we started sharing poems and letters, though I stopped writing at 14 and didn’t pick up again until my mid 40’s.
KPG. What is your favorite breakfast?
PS. Cherries, strawberries, blueberries (really any collage of fruit) blended with chia and flax seeds, and almond milk.
KPG. Does your university degree influence your writing of poetry and how?
PS. Yes. My degrees have directed areas of intense reading, knowledge and experience which can come out in what I write.
KPG. Is there any endeavor that you are passionate about outside of poetry? How does it enrich you?
PS. There are several. I am most passionate about my family, raising three teenage sons. They enrich my life in so many ways, I can’t even begin to describe them all. I am also passionate about tennis. I play 4-5 days/week. Tennis can be a microcosm of life, played out on a small court. Like pen on paper, racquet on ball is a great way to work out any number of issues.
KPG. Tell about one of your favorite poetry experiences.
PS. I have a memory of reading “Casey at the Bat” at a church (raised Unitarian) retreat when I was a kid. We hiked out into the woods in the Appalachians, sat down on some boulders, and everyone read a poem or two.
KPG. Do you have a connection to the American Civil War? Relative who served? Visited a battlefield and have a story?
PS. I’ve visited many battlefields, having grown up in one of the original 13 colonies, but no good story to tell.
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?
PS. I can’t answer that question! So many different poets have inspired me through the years. My son is in highschool and his teacher has given him a variety of poems to read and analyze from Bradstreet to Whitman to Shakespeare. He’s really taken with Whitman and is reading Leaves of Grass on his own. Maybe it would be helpful for teachers to also include very modern, relevant writing to the classics…so they can relate to poetry better. Maybe A.E. Stallings. She’s modern, yet very connected to the classics.
KPG. Where was your last selfie taken? With anyone?
PS. I hate selfies. The one I have included is of me riding in the car with my family as we drove to The Cities….that’s what locals call Minneapolis/St. Paul. My kids covering their faces in annoyance make me laugh.
KPG. Recommend a poetry (or literary) website that you frequent.
KPG. If there is a little known poet you think everyone should read, who is that poet and suggest one book of theirs we should purchase?
PS. I really enjoyed reading Lauren Camp’s book, One Hundred Hungers…though you already know her…! ☺ [Lauren Camp: poems in Watermelon Isotope]. I like how Lauren tells a story, conveys a mood, with parse language and super-vivid imagery. This book is about family and relationships, food, growing up, etc…things we all relate to…and the immigrant experience, something we’re all thinking so much about these days.
Other than Lauren, I’ve most recently been reading Crow-Work, by Eric Pankey [wikipedia] Both he and his wife, Jennifer Atkinson, are wonderful (and different) poets. I have read both their books. Both write about nature and human nature combined. Pankey’s poems really threw me the first time I read them. He has a way of bringing together disparate images and ideas into one thematic poem. He also manages to inserts ideas related to grammar into his voice…and it works so well! Atkinson’s book, The Thinking Eye [Parlor Press], included some Ekphrasis, which sent me on a journey of exploring the work of Paul Klee, and she used images that mixed the modern industrial with quiet timeless nature…I liked that.
KPG. What reoccurring themes or personal experience have you noticed in your poetry over the years?
PS. Living in Minnesota, my life is strongly dictated by the weather, the seasons, the changing nature. These aspects are present in much of my poetry. I’m also passionate about music…my children all play instruments and I played the piano, violin, flute, and piccolo in my youth…music and family are in much of my poetry.
KPG. Dark chocolate, milk chocolate, white chocolate, or some other sweet?
PS. Milk chocolate with lots of nuts!