Nature of it All is a collection of poems that bring to life the natural world with compassion and vibrancy. Bruce Taylor, Eau Claire, Wisconsin's poet laureate, says this about Nature of it All: “What a joy it is to walk through this poet’s world, her sharp eye turned towards the wonder she surrounds herself in and her fine ear tuned to the beauty she scatters as she goes.” There are twenty-six poems within this chapbook and the majority of the work was inspired by the author's observations and experiences living in the Midwest, especially Wisconsin's west-central region. Sarah Busse, Co-editor of Verse Wisconsin, elaborates, "With lyric eye and ear, Jeannie E. Roberts places both herself and her poems carefully throughout Nature of it All. Using the tools of close observation, pleasurable rhyme, assonance and alliteration, Roberts’ quick lines depict specific moments in the natural world, and assert the truth of Barrett Browning’s famous declaration, “nothing’s small.” Whether she’s focused at (or below) ground level, or sharing the wash of light through trees, she knows “something ancient rises” in these fleeting glimpses she provides us. These poems “swerve green” and each one “finds / its pitch.” Like the wood thrush that opens the book, Roberts gifts us with song both “flutelike and spare.” " Sandra J. Lindow, the 2011 WWA Jade Ring for Poetry, notes that "Jeannie E. Roberts is a painterly poet, every sound, every word and every image as carefully chosen as brush strokes in an O’Keefe painting. Her first collection, Nature of it All, paints the poet in compassionate conversation with the landscape, animals and insects she meets in her everyday world, revealing a message of hope for all of us."
Monday, March 4, 2013
Poet, Jeannie E. Roberts, Nature of It All
Author: Jeannie E. Roberts
Book Title: NATURE OF IT ALL
Publisher: Finishing Line Press
Nature of it All │Finishing Line Press
Nature of it All │Amazon, Paperback & Kindle Edition
Nature of it All │Volume One's, The Local Store
1. Tell me a little about your book.
Nature of it All is a collection of poems that bring to life the natural world with compassion and vibrancy. There are twenty-six poems within this chapbook and the majority of the work was inspired by both my adult and childhood experiences and observations living in the Midwest, especially Wisconsin's west-central region. As both an artist and a poet, my writing tends to be very visual. Through my words, I try to evoke the imagery that will place you within the environment. I also hope to convey the well-being one can experience while immersed in the beauty and meditative qualities of the outdoors.
2. Are you a full-time writer or a part-time writer, and how do you organize your writing time?
I'm a part-time poet, children's writer and illustrator. I own a free-lance firm called JRCreative (www.jrcreative.biz). At JRCreative, my time is spent writing television and radio scripts, commercial jingles, doing voice work and producing other creative projects. I try to write in the morning and at night before bedtime. On a good day, I write between two and three hours.
3. When did you first know you wanted to be a writer?
I'd always known I'd do something creative; art and words have always been a part of my life. I began writing short stories and poems in elementary school. I grew up in a household filled with art, books and poetry. My parents encouraged my brother, my sister and me to read. At an early age, I was made aware of the power and beauty of words.
4. What do you hope readers will take from your writing?
I hope that readers will find the connection between themselves and the natural world ― to honor our simultaneous journeys together.
5. Why are you drawn to poetry?
I find myself drawn to writing poetry more than anything else because of its aesthetic and evocative qualities. Creating poetic rhythm using timing set to accents and syllables is especially appealing to write, as in my children's poetry. But I also enjoy writing free verse, where the rhythm is often organized on looser units of cadence rather than a regular meter.
6. Would you say poetry is easier or harder to write than fiction and why?
I would say poetry is harder to write because the point of the piece should be expressed in as few words as possible. Every word must count for something. Fiction tends to belabor "the point," become laden with flourish and drag. In poetry, your tools are nouns and verbs ― and, yes, the use of adjectives, but very few. Like an onion, good poetry is layered. And less is always more.
7. What is the toughest part about being a writer and how do you get past it?
The toughest part of being a writer is the isolation. A writer requires quiet time and sometimes it gets to be too much. When that feeling of isolation drapes over me, I stop the process. I usually leave my office and take a walk or run errands. I find that a change in environment dissipates the grayness and monotony of isolation.
8. Is there anything in your poetry based upon a real life event? If so, tell me about it.
Most, if not all, of my poetry is based upon real life events. My nature poetry is inspired by the time I've spent outdoors. I believe the most authentic writing comes from what we've experienced, what we know and what comes from our hearts.
9. What about your poetry makes it special?
I believe what makes my poetry special is its spare, tactile and evocative qualities. I wish to leave the reader with the stories and the imagery that will make him/her think.
10. What is your marketing plan?
My marketing strategy is to create as much awareness as possible. It's an ongoing process, but I've had a good start with local publicity from both print and electronic media. Public relation events are also in my strategy, which include poetry readings and book signings. Please see more detail below:
Nature of it All was released by Finishing Line Press on January 18th, 2013. Prior to its release, I emailed press releases to local media outlets to create awareness. These press releases generated newspaper articles and interviews on television news' shows and radio programs, including Wisconsin Public Radio. I continue to publicize my poetry readings and book signings on my Facebook page, www.facebook.com/jeannie.e.roberts and on my Amazon.com author page, https://www.amazon.com/author/jeannieroberts. I share links to the places that either carry or link to the outlets that carry Nature of it All, including Volume One's, The Local Store, http://www.volumeone.enstore.com/item/nature-of-it-all , the Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets, http://wfop.org/poets/robjeann.html, and my website, www.jrcreative.biz.
11. Where can people learn more about you and your work?
To learn more, please visit my web site: www.jrcreative.biz
My Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets' Member page: http://wfop.org/poets/robjeann.html
You can find me on Facebook: www.facebook.com/jeannie.e.roberts
12. Would you give us an example of your poetry?
Of course. I'll share the poem that opens Nature of it All, "A Wood Thrush Sings." This poem is also featured on my web site, www.jrcreative.biz .
A Wood Thrush Sings
High in the treetop,
a wood thrush sings.
His languor of note,
flutelike and spare,
drops gently, while dusk
washes the woodlands,
last blush of light
13. Any tips for new writers hoping to write poetry?
My advice to aspiring poets would be to enroll in a few creative writing classes. There are several online college classes, some even free of charge, one that comes to mind is Coursera, https://www.coursera.org/. Also, check out your local library for writers' groups. Reading and sharing your work with other writers is critical to the writing process. Feedback and constructive criticism is a must for all writers. It's also helpful to read other poets' chapbooks. Sometimes other books can inspire fresh ideas and take you down paths you may not have otherwise taken. It's also important to write every day, even if it's only for a few minutes. Lastly, don't get discouraged. Being able to write and to express yourself is a gift. Write from the heart, follow your inner voice, don't follow trends and, most importantly, don't give up. There is an audience out there just waiting to read your words and to be inspired by you.