Thursday, May 4, 2017

Interview with Laura Foley, Author of WTF

Laura Foley is an internationally published, award-winning poet, author of six collections. She won the Common Goods Poetry Contest, judged by Garrison Keillor; and the National Outermost Poetry Prize, judged by Marge Piercy. Her poetry collections include: WTF, Night Ringing, The Glass Tree and Joy Street. The Glass Tree won a Foreword Book of the Year Award; Joy Street won the Bisexual-Writer’s Award. Her poems have appeared on The Writer’s Almanac, in Valparaiso Poetry Review, Atlanta Review, Lavender Review, The Mom Egg Review, in the British Aesthetica Creative Writing Anthology, and many other journals.

A certified Yoga Instructor and creative arts facilitator in hospitals, she is the mother of three grown children, grandmother to two granddaughters. She and her partner Clara Gimenez live among the hills of Vermont with their three big dogs.

Follow her on GoodReads, Facebook, and Twitter.

Where did you grow up?

I grew up in Manhattan, the Upper East Side of New York City.

When did you begin writing?

I began writing creatively only when I was 45.

What is this book about?

This book is about my relationship with my father. It reflects also on his experiences as a prisoner of war in China and Japan during World War Two.

What inspired you to write it?

I was inspired to write this book as a way to get to know and understand him, even though he has been gone for over twenty years; to reflect back on childhood memories and re-see them as an adult. I also began to understand who he was in the years before I was born.

How is it similar to other books in its genre?

Books of poetry often reflect back on a poet’s childhood.

How is it different?

This one is different because of its focus on one parent’s remarkable war experience, and remarkable service to his patients (he was a doctor); it is also different because of the consideration and tone of hard-won forgiveness around the father-daughter relationship.

Here is an excerpt from a recent review of WTF: “The poems reflect a father who might have been a more invested and attentive mentor, but their tone is sympathetic and demonstrates an inner strength in dealing with resentment. Even when the poems very directly describe abuses and coldness, they treat Foley’s father with kindness. They do not forgive, but they do attempt to understand.”
Sara Budzik, Clarion Foreword Book Review

What is the most important thing readers can learn from your book?

Readers can learn that they too can re-think their own relationships to people from their past, and find healing from that inner work. They also may find their own life experiences reflected back to them through these poems.

Where can readers purchase a copy?

It is available from my website and on Amazon.

What is up next for you?

I am working on a new full-length collection of poetry tentatively titled: Why I Never Finished My Dissertation.

Is there anything you would like to add?

Thank you for having WTF on your blog site!

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