A Conversation with Poet and Author, Maureen Sherbondy
This next interview is with a poet and writer I've met mainly via social media. Maureen Sherbondy has participated in writing events that I've been part of, and we have met...briefly. She is an award-winning poet and writer. Not long after she completed this interview, Maureen received the news that she'd won the 2019 Poet Laureate Award with her poem "Gretel," and this poem has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Congratulations Maureen!
Maureen Sherbondy lives in Durham, North Carolina with Barry Peters ( a poet and fiction writer). Maureen received a BA degree from Rutgers University and her MFA from Queens University of Charlotte. She has published nine poetry collections and one short story collection. Her forthcoming poetry book will be out in February, 2020 from FutureCycle Press (Dancing With Dali). Her work has appeared in Prelude, Litro, Southeast Review, Calyx, European Judaism, Plainsongs, Roanoke Review, Cortland Review, Stone Canoe, and many other journals.
What are you working on?
I am working on revising a new poetry collection called Folly & Discourse. I am also 2/3 of the way done with the rough draft of my novel. I hope to find an agent for my novel when it is done. In addition, I continue to write new poems and new flash fiction pieces. I finished a short story collection this summer (and hope to find a publisher soon). Yes, I have many projects going on at the same time. In addition, I teach full-time at a community college.
How does your book/work-in-progress differ from others in its genre?
My novel is completely different from anything else I have written before. It is about a woman who re-enters the dating world at the age of forty-five. The book is informed by my own experiences. I was in the dating world for six years as a clueless 47- year-old. Things sure have changed since I dated in college. I have written/published short fiction before, but most of my stories were literary fiction. This novel is plot-driven and fun. I am having a great time writing it. I hope to be ready to send query letters by June.
Why do you write what you do?
I write what I write to explore different characters, situations, etc. I am trying to put something interesting and meaningful (and entertaining) into words on a page. I also write to explore and to understand human behavior/what it means to be human.
How does your writing process work?
I read poetry, stories, novels. I listen to conversations. I ponder. I ask “What if” often. I begin with a line and wonder what will happen next here. Poems often begin with an image. I have a very strong imagination.
I write every day.
I work very hard.
Where can we find your works?
My books can be found on my website under the Writing link. Also, you can keep up to date with my appearances and other news there.