I hope you are all having a good week. Today's interview is with poet Lane Mochow.
PB: Hi Lane! Welcome to pjbermanbooks.com. Tell us a bit about your background.
LM: I am a poet attending Tennessee Technological University majoring in Journalism with minors in Sociology and Fine Arts.
PB: What made you decide to become a poet?
LM: I love the way poets use language to express ideas. I originally started writing because a friend from high school was in a writing club at school, and I wanted to hang out with her, so I started showing up. I loved the free-writes, and it made me want to pursue writing as a career.
PB: When did you first start writing?
LM: I first started writing my freshman year of high school when we were assigned to write short stories and poetry to express our interpretations of the novels we read (books such as the Odyssey, and Macbeth).
PB: What was the first poem that you can remember writing?
LM: I don’t remember all the lines, but it was a rhyming poem that somewhere had “little boys in dirty flack jackets”. It spoke about the idea of transcending the physical to reach nirvana, an idea I latched onto from my World History class.
PB: Tell us a bit about your writing process.
LM: The writing process is different for every person and every poem they write. For me, I experience something, be it love, depression, or something strange that happened, and just pour my heart out onto the page. Sometimes it includes line breaks, other times I wait and add them after. I wait a day or two, and then make more edits.
PB: Tell us about your recent book. Where did the idea come from?
LM: I started out having my poetry featured in Tennessee Magazine. Then one day I realized I had over fifty poems, and with the prodding of my friend’s mom Julie, I began to piece together the chapbook. She and I worked and reworked it, looking for spelling errors and clarifying ideas before “Ink” took its final form. It took over a year to find a publisher, and I couldn’t be happier with Poetic Justice Press. They gave me the freedom to design my book pretty much however I felt needed, and worked with me on fitting the longer lines into the page format.
PB: How would you describe it to someone who hasn’t read it yet?
LM: Ink is a self-reflective commentary on life. It covers mental illness primarily, with love and identity poems sprinkled in.
PB: Of all the poems you have written, which is the most special to you?
LM: I would say it is “I Came So Close”. The poem is simple, yet (at least for me) poignant. IT talks about the duality of loving someone and feeling emptiness so bad you feel as though death is your only choice. I’m not in that place anymore, thank goodness, but it is a reminder of everything I’ve powered through to find the place I am now.
'I Came So Close'
I came so close
Tying the noose-knot
White knuckled, but resolute
Praying to God for it to end.
Tying the marital knot
Swelling in my chest,
Praying to God for it to last.
To think that the same hands that held him
Held the rope,
Dropped the rope,
Called my father.
Really puts things into perspective.
PB: Thought provoking stuff. Of all your achievements, which are you most proud of?
LM: I would say I am most proud of publishing a book. It was a labor of love, and I am ecstatic with the way it turned out.
PB: Who are your favourite poets?
LM: I love so many poets, but three of my favorites are Rupi Kaur, John Ashbury, and Andrea Gibson. Rupi Kaur writes concretely and in a way anyone can relate to about what it Is like to be a woman in the 21st century. Conversely, John Ashbury uses complexity to make the reader sit and break down line by line what the author is trying to express. Andrea Gibson is a spoken word poet that uses powerful language to make the listener feel the emotions she feels.
PB: What are your long term ambitions with regards to writing?
LM: Professionally, I want to be an online journalist that gives voices to LGBTQ+ issues. Personally, I want to keep writing poetry that moves people, makes them feel what I am going through, and gives them someone to relate to. I want people to think “Yeah, that is exactly how that feels.”
PB: If you weren’t an author, what career would you be in?
LM: As I stated earlier, my goal is to be a journalist. I enjoy making art on the side. I may not be professional – grade, but you don’t have to be exceptional at something to enjoy it.
PB: What’s the next target for you?
LM: I am currently working on a full-length poetry book titled “Quill”. There will be three main sections: Feather, Carving, and Quill. The metaphor is that as the feather becomes the quill, so am I becoming a better version of myself.
PB: Tell us a random fact about yourself.
LM: I have hiked 69 miles of the Appalachian Trail with my fiancé, and plan to continue hiking for 5 more days in August (if COVID-19 dies down of course).
We can only hope that things return to normal soon. What a great achievement doing all that hiking too!
Thank you so much to Lane Mochow for talking to us today. If you would like to find out more about him or purchase his work, you can do so via the below links:
Until next time, happy reading everyone!