lianna schreiber: in conversation
LIANNA SCHREIBER is a Romanian author. A self-described “New Romantic”, her work mostly concerns itself with gods, monsters, and human nature as it is caught between the sacred and the profane — all wrapped up in an overabundance of floral imagery.
WHAT INSPIRED ONE OF YOUR POEMS?
o my blood and wolved allegorical are both inspired by dreams I have had while I was reacquaintancing myself with the poetry of Vasko Popa this past February; he and I coincidentally use the same symbols for ourselves (blackbirds) and for our people (wolves), but with very different valences, so he has been on my mind quite a lot.
WHAT IS AN OBSCURE THING YOU FIND INTERESTING ABOUT THE WORLD?
How accidental life is, in the greater scheme of things — we owe the fact that we can talk like this to cyanobacteria, and it is all so very wondrous to me, that display of the butterfly effect in motion. There was no design to our eventual creation, just succedent, snowballing chaos, a string of things desperately wanting to be. Something which I do believe mirrors in us, once you have peeled away all that pertains to skin.
WHAT ODD, FUNNY OR INTERESTING FACT CAN YOU SHARE ABOUT YOUR WRITING HABITS OR PROCESS?
I pace a lot when I write; I also tend to sit upside-down when I have hit a snag in the workflow. The blood rush helps. Within the poetry that I publish directly to my blog, I very rarely capitalize my I’s —and almost always add an apostrophe after its, a textual tic which I have developed semi-consciously over the years.
HOW IMPORTANT IS LANGUAGE AND/OR WORD CHOICE TO YOUR WRITING?
Oh, they are paramount. As a self-described Neoromantic, I tend to use a very specific, rather archaic vernacular; beyond that, capitalization (or lack thereof) is, for example, an easy indicator of whether the places and figures I am referencing belong to the sacred or the profane. I am also very particular with my symbols.
ARE THERE ANY THEMES OR REOCCURRING THREADS THAT YOU TRY TO EXPLORE IN YOUR WRITING?
My relationships — to God, both in his Abrahamic and personal incarnations; to Death, my lord and lover; to my country. To myself, most of all. If for many art is a means of self-discovery, for me it is a means of coming home. Not “Have you seen me?” posters, mind you, but rather: “I have seen you.” I am an autodidact in all things; and due to the unfortunate circumstances of my childhood — I come from a broken home — I had to function as my own parental figure. I have a lot of love for the child I never got to be, and I am trying to tell her: “You did well. If the world thinks you are broken, then it is only because the world is unwilling to acknowledge the hand it has had in your pain.” People often think me strange, or morbid, or “savage”, in the sense of uncivilized and antisocial, to borrow my grandmother’s terminology; and I am embracing all of these things fully in and outside of my poetry, because while society views them negatively, I think they constitute the most wonderful parts of me.
IS THERE SOMETHING YOU FIND PARTICULARLY DIFFICULT ABOUT THE WRITING PROCESS?
Not really, no.
WHAT OTHER ART FORM [IF ANY] INFLUENCES OR INFORMS YOUR WRITING? E.G. FILM, MUSIC, PAINTING / VISUAL ART…
I take cues from both visual arts, chiefly painting, and music; chromatics and cadence are, to me, vital. A lot of care goes into curating them. (Oddly enough, I write best without visual distractions, blue noise alone fulfilling the role of auditory company.)
WHAT'S AN UNDERRATED OR (LITTLE RECOGNIZED) BOOK YOU LOVE?
Hardly ‘little recognized’, but my most favorite book is Terry Pratchett’s Reaper Man. I also warmly recommend Testament – Anthology of Romanian Verse to anyone seeking an introduction to Romanian poetry.
WHAT IS YOUR MOST RECENT WORK AND WHERE CAN READERS FIND IT?
My most recent chapbook is titled Book of Spring, a collection of forty-five seasonal reflections written in accordance with Japanese poetic forms; it may be downloaded here. Beyond that, I post new poetry daily on my blog (@ragewrites), often twice a day.
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IN THIS ISSUE
Author: Lianna Schreiber
Editor: Lydia S.
Graphic Design: Shompole, N.L.