Featured Artist

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Meet Corinne de Winter, our featured artist for November and a four-time Pushcart Prize nominee.  Her work has appeared in esteemed poetry journals nationwide, icluding The New York Quarterly.  She took some time to answer our 10 Questions about poetry, life, and the world in general.

What made you decide to start writing?
It was just something that naturally happened - I don't remember thinking about it, just doing it. As a teenager I had been reading poets and authors like Dylan, Auden, Daphne DuMaurier, mythology and supernatural collections, and really getting inspired by the writing. These books were illuminations that made me want to answer and respond.

Who were your influences?
Conrad Aiken, a dark, fantastic poet. DuMaurier (she wrote The Birds and a bunch of other great novels) Anne Sexton, Nick Cave, Kate Bush, Poe, Plath, black and white movies, Hayden Carruth, old horror comics.Astrology, nature and paranormal writing.

What constitutes a great poem in your eyes?
A great poem should leave you feeling more human. It should somehow touch your heart, make you think. I heard someone say once that a good poem ends not on the page, but in the reader's mind.

What one poem or accomplishment are you most proud of?
Probably when I won The Stoker Award for "The Women At The Funeral" collection. It's hard to say. I was thrilled when I was asked to write The Present State of American Poetry for The New York Quarterly, and ofcourse it's amazing when someone contacts me to say that one of my poems touched them, or made them cry.

Who has given you support and helped you be able to create your poetry?
I remember writing to James Merrill when I was a teen, sending him some of my poems, and he responded with a note complimenting one of the poems, and I was so happy- I loved his work.

William Packard, who was editor of the New York Quarterly, really inspired me to be a serious writer. He gave me the opportunity to read at The New School in NYC, to write the Present State article, and published some of my poems in NYQ. He would send me postcards, or call and remind me that I had to keep my center, write the truth. "You're a good writer." he'd say, and I was very honored. He was the first person in the literary world to take an interest and tell me my writing was good. He was good friends with Bukowski, so I always felt like my writing would pale in comparison to him, but he was ultra supportive. I really miss him.

What about the world/life inspires you in your writing?
People's suffering, spirit, and hearts. Nature. Astrology. Desire. Dreams. Music. Mystery.

Pre-Raphaelite art. And ofcourse, falling in love.

What have you done recently in your career and what are your plans for the future?
"Tango In the 9th Circle" was published this year by Dark Regions Press. I will have a collection upcoming from Sam's Dot Publishing. I'll be doing a few readings in the next month or two, so I'm trying to focus on that, but also on getting another collection published. Also, trying to finish the fiction pieces I have and find a publisher for my novella "The End Of Desire."

I'm in the process of starting a fund: "Small World For Children Fund." that will help children in need. I hope to have the website up in the next couple of months.

What are your favorite leisure activities, besides writing?
Birds, nature. Spending time with my friends. Meeting new people, hearing their stories. Finding vintage clothes, seeing good music, creating visual art, going out to a good Asian restaurant, reading fact books like "Final Exits"- about all the ways we die.

What advice would you give a young writer just starting out?
Write honestly and make time to write. Don't expect to get rich from
writing - it's a rare thing. Read good books - it will inspire good writing.

Don't hide your work- send it out.

Describe your work in three words or less.
Sensual Magic Realism.

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