interview by anna chotlos
You are a superhero! What are your powers and what does your costume look like?... I am invisible! My costume is irrelevant. Hurray!
What poems do you find yourself reading again and again?... This changes year to year and sometimes, month to month. In the wake of the recent presidential election and the difficult times we now face. These are the poems that are presently in the mix: "The Little Mariner," Olga Broumas // "National Park," Fady Joudah // "Death of a Favorite Bird," W.S. Merwin // "The Crossroads of Convenience Stores," Douglas Kearney and Bao Phi // "The Forms of Love," George Oppen
What should everyone know about bees?... They navigate with a map of polarized light; the sun is the bee’s internal compass.
What is the most important kitchen gadget you own?... That’s a tie between a garlic press and a miraculous Victorinox Swiss Army knife.
What was your favorite book when you were 7? 17?... At 7: Where the Red Fern Grows. At 17: No One Gets Out of Here Alive: A Biography of Jim Morrison.
Tips for coping with Minnesota winters?... Beyond reading and writing as much as possible (and isn’t winter actually designed for these kinds of things?), I try to make a habit of embracing physical activity: running, skiing, skating.
What smells remind you of home?... Toss up: garlic or cinnamon.
You get to raid the closet of one literary character - whose closet is it and what would you borrow?... Gertrude Stein’s overcoat.
What is the most memorable concert you’ve been to?... Two answers to this question: Queen, 1981. St. Paul Civic Center. Freddie Mercury at the height of his powers. But more recently, Sufjan Stevens at the State Theater, Minneapolis. "Carrie and Lowell” tour. I thought about this show everyday for months.
Describe a perfect breakfast... Fresh tomato and basil. One perfect egg. French roast coffee: black, no cream.
Juliet Patterson is a poet and essayist living in Minneapolis. Her most recent collection of poems, Threnody, was nominated for the 2017 Audre Lorde Award.