Jen Tynes

You can see Jen's editorial work at the horse less press site. Her recent chapbook with Michael Sikkema appears in the current Nudity Issue of the Black Warrior Review. Check it out.

A.) What's the first poem you remember writing?

I was writing poems pretty early, but I think my first publication was when I was about ten. I wrote a patriotic poem during the first Gulf War, and it was in the local paper. I remember that I rhymed "Hussein" with "brain." Actually, I think my first poems were totally audio pieces. My Speak & Spell was one of my favorite toys, especially when the batteries started to run down and the voice got all elongated and slow. I would take it to bed and make it say things to scare myself. That's pretty much my poetics.

B.) What are three songs you've listened to on repeat lately?

Bob Dylan's "Isis" is probably the only thing I've actually been listening to on repeat lately, but these songs have been in my head a lot: Neko Case's "Star Witness," various people singing "Sittin on the Top of the World," Little Richard's "Keep a Knockin," Lucinda Williams covering "Ramblin On My Mind," The White Stripes' "Hello Operator."

C.) Do you carry music around with you throughout the day? If so, what are you listening to and when are you listening to it?

My phone has music on it, which I haven't listened to for weeks because my cat chewed through my headphones again. I normally listen to it on the bus, though, or while I'm walking. Right this very second I'm listening to the Carolina Chocolate Drops playing from Michael Sikkema's computer.

D.) Do you carry poetry around with you throughout the day? Whose books are you carrying?

I often carry poetry, but not always. Currently I'm carrying Alice Notley's Alma, or the Dead Women and In the Pines and Lisa Robertson's Xeclogue and Debbie: An Epic. That's probably more than the average number of books I carry around, but I'm traveling, and I happened to be in the middle of all four of these when I was packing.

E.) In Issue A, your work is excerpted from a project titled Return Period. What's the story of this project?

"Return Period" is one of four sections of a b-o-o-k I'm working on called Trickrider (or Trick Rider?). It started off as an epic poem, but I don't think it ended up that way. It's the first thing I've written in a very long time with anything like a character in it, but she plays dead for most of the book. I have never failed writing something as many times as I've failed writing this thing.