We all constantly live with the ghosts that surround us through our daily lives. To be able to pull from so many stories to comprehend the main journey of one person is not only enlightening but also quite emotional. All the Ghosts We\’ve Always Had gives depth to even the simplest poem. I could strongly relate to that poor bear being ripped from limb to limb as it was something, I experienced firsthand. The terror and sadness from that scene left me in a pool of my own tears. I genuinely felt like Alice in Wonderland. A very thoughtful read for anyone who enjoys adversity in any light. Now, that’s exactly how I feel about Julia Yeager-Archer’s chapbook All the Ghosts We’ve Always Had needless to say it is an emotional roller coaster for sure. For more information on Julia please feel free to follow her on Instagram @julesjustwrite .
RMMW: What is your favourite poem written by you?
JYA: Oh, man. My absolute fave poem of mine is the prose poem at Okay Donkey \”How to Love a Monster with Average Sized Hands.\”
How to Love a Monster with Average-Sized Hands
If I could marry a myth it would be monstrous, but not monstrous like frightening. Monstrous as in a monstrous love where I’d be prouder than a Phoenix in plumage, and hotter than a poker. I’d swing on Cthulhu’s feelers. Take a water-slide ride down the tail of Godzilla. I’d let a Wendigo eat my heart and put a ring on it and drive me out to our small town’s overlook where he’d insist I’d wear protection and let me finish the rest of my wine. Loch Ness monster, more like Loch Bless monster, because every night you come to me in bed is another day I fall in love. Instead of calling the cops, my father would shake hands with Cyclops, and call him the son he never had, because if your face were a little more lion and a little less wolf we’d have a magically monstrous love on our hands, but instead I am stuck with you, you, and you are no creepy cryptid but a mere under-the-bed boogeyman that sends me screaming only that’s what I get for having married a monster with average-sized hands and not looking out the front door before answering it.
RMMW: We all have to contend with our inner critic, how do you deal with yours?
JYA: It\’s super hard for me sometimes, since I get writer-envy, BUT the best way for me is to just keep my eyes on my own page. Becoming immersed in a project I love also really helps me focus on the now, and the craft.
RMMW: Have you ever been creatively blocked if yes, how did you overcome it?
JYA: I always get blocked after I finish a long project like a novel or something. Usually, I throw myself into other creative acts, and other media like watching a lot of TV, and reading new things. Usually I find that I start to get inspired and my brain begins to brew again.
RMMW: Do you have any artists rituals before starting a new piece?
JYA: Not a ton. I definitely always put on a song that reminds me of what I\’m writing, and then blast it on repeat.
RMMW: When did you start writing & what attracted you to poetry?
JYA: I guess I don\’t really consider myself a poet. I just write for the story, and then if I see the form it\’s taking is more poem, I take that route. I\’ve been writing since I was young, but seriously maybe for the last 15 years or so.
RMMW: Can you tell me about your publication journey?
JYA: I always loved to write. I took an independent study class maybe 15 years ago and wrote a few short stories. The professor recommended I send some off, and that was the first step of me thinking about actually getting published. That I could maybe do this. Then I found flash fiction, and I started writing and subbing short stories and poems.
RMMW: Do you struggle with editing your own work?
JYA: Editing is the worst for me! It\’s so hard to see my work with fresh eyes, especially when I\’ve been entrenched for so long. I tend to trust my gut when I edit, like what feels right, works right, and so far, it\’s pulled me through.
RMMW: How do you feel you\’ve evolved as a poet over the years?
JYA: I think being smarter about what you put in the piece. For me, I used to think poetry as so rigid (like stanzas, etc) or super flowery. Now I love trying to distill it down to stillness, to something quiet and still have a profound, even better, effect on a reader. But again, I don\’t feel like a poet.
RMMW: Who are your favourite poets to read, who would you recommend?
JYA: See? I don\’t read a ton of poetry. I guess Sylvia Plath. I love Wallace Stevens\’ \”The Emperor of Ice Cream.\” I adore that poem.
RMMW: Do you have a particular place or process when you write? Does your poem start long hand, or do you go to the computer right away?
JYA: My pieces always start in front of the computer. I\’ll get it out. Then do a pass and edit. Then let it sit and come back to it another day. One more edit, then it\’s done. So usually 3 rounds on a piece is my MO. That\’s three, right? I\’m a writer, I don\’t math.
RMMW: Are you planning on releasing another book soon, if yes, when?
JYA: When luck smiles on me! Ha, but seriously, I want to release another book, but there\’s nothing in the works yet. I know it\’s definitely in the cards though. Maybe soon, maybe not.
RMMW: If you had a superpower what would it be?
JYA: Can I say that when I die I\’d like to become a ghost? Can that be my superpower?