Monday, January 27, 2014

LIFE OF A POET - LOREDANA DONOVAN

Kids, hold onto your hats as this week we are zooming cross-country to the Big Apple, to visit with the poet, photographer and artist, Loredana Donovan, who blogs at Blogging Away. We are in for an interesting visit, with this busy poet, so let's not waste a moment.




P.U.: Loredana, it's so nice to be sitting down with you at last. How about giving us a snapshot of the Life of the Poet At Home?



Loredana: I live with my husband in a small town, Pleasantville, in the suburbs of New York. We’re only a few miles away from the countryside and about 30 miles from New York City. So we get the best of both worlds—the peacefulness of the country and the energy of the city. We enjoy a simple life. 

We both work full time and, on the weekend, we like to go out to dinner, watch movies, and listen to music. We both come from big families and enjoy getting together with relatives and friends, especially at holiday time. We don’t have any pets right now, but we plan on getting a new puppy in the Spring and we’re excited about that! I also enjoy my quiet time alone and outdoors. There are many beautiful parks and farms to visit nearby. I love going for nature walks, camera and note pad in hand. I usually write late at night or on the weekend. Sunday is my favorite day of the week for blogging and posting my poems and photos.


Autumn in New York

P.U.: It sounds like a wonderful life! I envy you the new puppy. I want one badly. You list your field as the publishing industry. How cool! What do you do, and is there any connection to your poetic life – or is poetry a welcome contrast to the work you do all day?

Loredana: Yes, I have been working in the publishing field since graduating from college. I have a Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in English and Journalism. In college, I was the editor of the university’s newspaper and literary magazine. Since then, I have worked for several publishers of non-fiction books, magazines, and professional journals. 

P.U.: Wow. And in the Big Apple, no less. I am impressed.

Loredana: Currently, I work for a publisher in New York City doing editing and project management. I love my job – it’s challenging but rewarding. Is there any connection to my poetic life? Yes, I find that I use my editing skills in poetry, as I tend to rewrite a piece until I feel it’s just right. But the creative aspect comes from my heart. Poetry could be perfect in form and grammar, but without feelings, it just doesn’t have the same impact. I love to convey emotions through my poems.

P.U.: When did you begin writing poetry, and what was it that caused you to choose poetry as your means of creative expression?

Loredana: I have been writing poetry since I was 10 years old. As a child, I was introverted and introspective. I was always very studious and, after school, I preferred doing my homework, reading and writing, rather than going out to play with other children. Perhaps solitude caused me to write about my inner world and feelings. It was not until later in life that I began to observe the outside world and discover the beauty in the ordinary, in nature, and in my surroundings. I started to feel more connected to the world and other people. It was a gradual awakening, becoming more open and willing to explore – break out of my shell, so to speak. It’s been a wonderful journey of self-discovery and awareness through writing.


The life of a poet is.....a bowl of cherries

P.U.: I love the idea of writing as a "journey of self-discovery". Well said.

Loredana: Poetry means the world to me. It gives me such joy to express myself through writing. Sometimes, poetry is my best friend. If I feel down, the very act of writing is uplifting. It’s also a release of emotions, and it has a healing effect on me. I find writing to be therapeutic in a way – to be able to let memories, even painful ones, come to the surface and to let them go. To remember, to celebrate, to appreciate, to bring issues to awareness – it’s through writing that we can make a change personally, and hopefully make a little difference in the world as well. I absolutely love poetry with all my heart and soul.

P.U.: Lovely, Loredana. When do you know you have really “gotten it right” with a poem?

Loredana: When it moves me and I become teary eyed. That’s when I know that I awakened a part of me that needed to be expressed, to be let out. I also know a poem is “right” when I see the heartfelt reactions from my wonderful readers. I absolutely love how they really analyze my poetry and tell me how it makes them feel in their comments. Or they share something that resonated with them. It’s so precious to me when I have touched them in some way. And I love the interactive discussions on my posts.


Summer Garden - my digital art photo


P.U.: Is there a particular poem you think you wrote especially well, that you’d like to include here? 

Loredana: I enjoy weaving images of nature and love in my poetry, blending beauty, wonder, and emotion. “Free Falling” is one of my favorite love poems, and is also the most viewed poem of all times on my blog. I’m a hopeless romantic, a dreamer, and that seems to be very popular with my readers.


caramel mornings-
oh the magic of you
turning into the color of eternity
like a thousand leaves,
free falling kisses

oh the sweetness of you
loving me like there is no tomorrow
i savor each moment,
you send me
to Autumn’s golden skies

oh the breeze of you
renews me,
i become that leaf
floating in mid-air
suspended

and i want to stay there
in that little piece
of heaven
where i am lighter,
softer, happier

P.U.: Wow! Romantic, indeed, and so beautiful. I love it! Especially "caramel mornings".  I also love your recent “Embrace me, winter" poem, and would like to include it here also.

embrace me, winter
with a cotton-soft blanket,
teach me resilience-
how does the oak tree stand still,
baring her soul to the sky?

Loredana: Thank you, Sherry. That poem was inspired by one of my nature walks. I’m always amazed by the strength in nature and find it uplifting. When I feel stressed or overwhelmed, I think of the oak and how courageous it is – it gives me hope and energy.  There is spirituality in nature that soothes my soul.   
       
P.U.: I feel exactly the same way about nature...and trees. Favorite all-time poet? Why does his or her poetry speak to you?

Loredana: I have quite a collection of poetry books at home, from classic to modern. But I have to say that Mary Oliver is my favorite. She has a way of bringing out human emotion and experience in her poetry, with a backdrop of gorgeous images from nature. It’s like she has found a deep connection between the inner and outer world and can express it so beautifully. I find her poetry moving and something to aspire to.

P.U.: I adore her, too. What poetry form do you use most frequently? Which comes more easily, form or free verse?

Loredana: I write mostly in free verse, but I enjoy form poetry as well. I studied a few classic forms in school, such as sonnets and ballads. I also like rondeau, chain, cascade, Fibonacci, and palindrome. I love the zen quality of Japanese poetry forms -- tanka, haiku and senryu. 


One of my haiga artwork (haiku & picture)

I find form poetry challenging, but it really pushes me to hone my craft. Counting syllables and finding the perfect rhymes makes me think harder, and the result is sometimes better than if I had written the same piece in free verse. On the other hand, I love the versatility of free verse, which has fewer constraints. But even in free verse, there has to be some structure and rhythm to a poem. I always try to use metaphors and similes, as they give poetry a deeper meaning. Sometimes, juxtaposing contrasting images adds a dramatic effect. I strive for my poetry to be visual and always include imagery. And I love analyzing poetry as much as I like writing it!

P.U.: I love your haiga. Beautiful. What are your thoughts on writing to prompts?

Loredana: I love prompts! It’s a great opportunity to share poetry, read and comment on the work of fellow poets. It’s also a chance to write new poems focusing on a specific topic or form. I find prompts inspirational and motivating –they keep those creative juices flowing! When I first started blogging two years ago, I only posted photographs and general musings on life. Then I discovered poetry and photography sites and started linking my work. I made wonderful friends and I feel like I’m really part of a community now.

P.U.: What drew you to the blogging world, and what impact has blogging had on your poetic output?

Loredana: I needed a creative outlet and wanted to share my thoughts with the world. I felt blogging would be the perfect venue. One night when it was pouring out, I was inspired to write my first blog post. These words came to me: “on a rainy night like this, there is nothing better than blogging away.” And that’s how my blog name was born, and the rest is history. Blogging has definitely had a great impact on my poetic output. I blog at least twice a week so that my writing stays fresh and current. Practice, practice!

P.U.: Was there anything or anyone in your childhood that you, looking back, think may have influenced your becoming a writer?

Loredana: My mom was the greatest influence on my education and upbringing. She always encouraged me to excel in my studies, especially in writing. I remember whenever I had a writing assignment in school, she would take the time for me to read it to her and she would listen intently. She has always been very supportive of all my endeavors, and we have remained very close to this day.

P.U.: She sounds like a wonderful mom! What are your goals for poetry in 2014?

Loredana: In 2014, I’d like to take poetry to the next level. There is so much poetry in me that is still unsaid and unwritten. Perhaps I’m holding back some of the more delicate and painful life experiences. Yet, I’m inspired by so many talented poets who express their deepest and most personal feelings, and beautifully so. I want to be brave like that. I want to be a fearless poet.


'I want to be a fearless poet'

P.U.: I love that! We will be watching for those brave poems in the coming months. Let 'er rip! Do you write prose as well? Any writing goals in that direction?

Loredana: Yes, I love prose as well. This past year, I have been writing a “City Streets” series of urban poetic prose. The story deals with the main character starting over after a painful break-up, and searching for true love. I would like to continue with this series and expand it to short stories. New York City is such a great backdrop for fictional stories, full of action, intrigue, and possibilities!

P.U.: It is, for certain! You are also a talented photographer. When did that love affair begin, and what do you most love capturing through your lens?

Loredana: Thank you, Sherry. I became interested in photography only a couple of years ago. I love taking pictures of nature, landscapes, waterscapes, cityscapes, critters, and flowers. I’m fascinated by colors, patterns and textures, which you can really find anywhere if you look closely enough – in the city or the country. I like the moody and dramatic feel of black and white photography as well. 


Wintery scene in the countryside of New York

There is so much beauty surrounding us that often goes unnoticed. And sometimes, I capture the not so pretty to bring certain issues to light. I’m a very visual person and I like to take photos from different angles and perspectives. I also love close-ups, really focusing in on the smallest details. As in poetry, I try to convey an emotion through my images. A photograph, as I’ve said of a poem earlier, could be perfect in technique, but if it doesn’t convey a feeling, it just doesn’t have the same emotional impact on the viewer.

P.U.: You mention an interest in art. Do you paint or sketch?

Loredana: Yes, I love art history. Impressionism and abstract art are some of my favorite art styles. In my spare time, I do a little painting with watercolors – mainly flowers. I also enjoy painting abstracts with acrylics. I have done some sketches in pencil of still life. Again, I love colors and textures in art. I have also experimented with digital art photography, manipulating an original image to give it an artsy or painterly look. I’m really fascinated with the visual arts in general – so creative and inspiring.

A Swirl of Emotions - one of my abstract paintings

Spring - one of my abstract watercolors

P.U.: So colorful and beautiful! Architecture being another of your interests intrigues me. Tell us about it.

Loredana: As part of my continuing education, I have also taken classes at the New York School of Interior Design, to study architecture and interiors. Again, it has to do with my interest in visual arts. I love architectural history from ancient Greek columns to modern skyscrapers. Building a home is a labor of love – whether made of bricks, stones, wood, or glass – home is the most comfortable place to be. It’s where we retreat at the end of the day to enjoy peace and quiet. A certain style of architecture reflects who we are.


New York city street interior reflections


P.U.: How does your interest in graphic and interior design express it yourself in your life? I see it in some of your photography, for certain, like this one above.

Loredana: I love decorating our home and changing it up through the seasons. I enjoy comfortable throw pillows on the couch where we can lounge and rest after a long day’s work. I always have fresh flowers to brighten up the day. Little touches bring me a smile – a soft blanket, pictures of loved ones, my collection of poetry on the book shelf, our colorful dinner plates, my writing desk, art on the wall.

P.U.: It sounds very cozy, kiddo. You share a love of travel with many of our poets. Bucket list? Most mind-blowing place you have ever been?

Sunset over the Mediterranean Sea in Italy

Loredana: Our most memorable vacation ever was in Southern Italy, which is of sentimental value to me, as my family of origin is from that part of Italy. I love the Mediterranean sea –it’s the bluest of blue and brings me such peace. We visited several picturesque towns along the water. The views are amazing and the culture is so rich in history. Food is divine! I’d love to go back one day, and also visit more of Europe.

P.U.: How wonderful! I hope you make it back. Do you have a cause or passion that is dear to your heart?

Loredana: I have done volunteer work to help the homeless, and also visit the elderly in nursing homes. I think it’s important to give back to the community – to offer some help and hope to those less fortunate, the elderly, the sick. I would say kindness is my passion – always be kind with your words and actions.


'kindness is my passion'

P.U.: I love 'kindness is my passion'. Way to be! You have been a loyal member of Poets United for a while.  Thank you so much for hanging in with us! Is there anything you would like to say to our members?

Loredana: I found Poets United early in 2013 through another blogger friend who linked here. I love the mid-week prompts, Poetry Pantry, and all your other wonderful features. It’s such a great community of supportive poets! I so appreciate the opportunity to have shared a little about myself in this interview. Thank you, Sherry, and everyone at Poets United, for all you do! I’d like to say to our members: be inspired, let your creativity soar, write to your heart’s content – poetry is a beautiful thing, honor it!

P.U.: Loredana, it has truly been a pleasure to visit with you. We look forward to reading you in 2014!!

There you have it, kids, the life of a poet. I love the visits I make every week, to get to know the poets in our community. Come back and see who we talk to next. Who knows? It might be you!


46 comments:

  1. Thank you, Sherry! I'm truly honored! I had so much fun chatting with you. You're the best interviewer! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is truly my pleasure, kiddo. Thank you for the opportunity! I enjoyed our visit very much!

      Delete
  2. Oh! I remember liking your work just yesterday, Loredona, how it's spare and colorful. It's good to get to know you better.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Susan! Yes, my poetry tends to be short & sweet. Smiles :)

      Delete
  3. beautiful interview! nice to know a little more about Loredana. Beautiful photos as well! and I love that haiku.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Natasa! Glad you enjoyed it. Sherry did a great job in putting it all together :)

      Delete
  4. Very nice interview, Sherry. Loredana, I really have enjoyed your poetry AND your photography. Your paintings are very nice too. I have really liked your "City Streets" series. I like the idea that kindness is your passion; and I can tell that from your poetry! Thank you for always being such a responsive participant in Poetry Pantry!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Mary! I love Poets United and all the wonderful poets I met here! :)

      Delete
    2. P.S. And thank you for sharing the link to the interview on your blog, Mary. I was touched that you were inspired to write a poem on being a fearless poet. Loved it! :)

      Delete
  5. Thank you, Loredana, for sharing so much of yourself with us. I always enjoy your poems and photos. I now realize that you are a very artistic person altogether! Sherry, thank you for another great interview!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Gabriella! Yes, I love art in general--so stimulating & inspiring :)

      Delete
  6. Getting to know you .. has been quite a delight!!!

    ReplyDelete
  7. great pick.. I have been the beneficiary of Loredana's photography... :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Robert! Ah yes, you were the lucky recipient of my nature photograph giveaway. Smiles. Glad it found a home in your Smugglers Cove :)

      Delete
  8. Loredana, so nice to know you a little better--feel inspired by the level of passion you have conveyed here :-) Your poems and photos are always uplifting, touching--keep painting, you have a wonderful eye. Sherry, as always, excellent interviewing <3

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Sara! I do plan on doing more painting. I especially love watercolors. Smiles :)

      Delete
  9. Loredana is one of the deeply talented people I've come to admire in this community. So glad you allowed us a glimpse into her life, Sherry. The two of you made for a great read!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Kim! And I'm honored you shared the interview on Google+. It's wonderful to be part of such an encouraging community! :)

      Delete
  10. Loredana - so great to read more about you! You are talented in so many areas! From your poems to your haiga to your abstract paintings and photography - each piece made me wish I had made/written that! I'm excited to hear about your puppy and to see more of your work in the future!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Robyn! We started looking for a puppy yesterday and we're very excited! I'm sure the one we'll decide on will somehow end up in a poem or photo in the future! :)

      Delete
    2. You must post photos so we can enjoy!!!! There is nothing more wonderful than a puppy!!!!!

      Delete
  11. Enjoyed this interview! Thanks Sherry. I always enjoy your work Loredana...always a pleasure to read your poetry and see your photography! And I identify much with what you say poetry is to you as well. Great to see you interviewed--really looking forward to more of your work!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Jennifer! So glad how I feel about poetry resonated with you. Smiles :)

      Delete
  12. Loredana - I subscribe to your blog and I love your poetry and your artistic nature. I aspire to write as well as you someday! From nature, to hopeless romantic to Visual Arts (my daughter) … I find a lot in common with you. Keep writing. Wonderful interview!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Thank you, Margaret! Yes, we do share some of the same artistic interests. So glad to have met you through blogging as well as all the other lovely writers/photographers I've connected with! :)

    ReplyDelete
  14. Thanks for the wonderful interview Sherry ~ I knew Loredana by her lovely pictures & words ~ Now I know she is very talented ~ Be fearless, I am looking forward to it ~

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Grace! I shall be fearless. Smiles :)

      Delete
  15. Nice to know about you;) and I love all of your poems and no wonder they are all so beautifully composed and in touch with nature:)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Vandana! We do share the same love for nature. It's a source of comfort and inspiration! :)

      Delete
  16. Such lovely poetry...I completely relate to her reasons for writing it and how therapeutic it is.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Sherri! Yes, poetry is healing. Smiles :)

      Delete
  17. So nice to know more about you Loredana....you truly have that eye to 'discover the beauty in the ordinary'...your work of art reflects that...I enjoy your poems and photos..
    This interview was a delight to read...Thank you Sherry and Loredana :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Sumana! Yes, beauty is all around us if we take the time to notice. Smiles :)

      Delete
  18. Thank you Sherry, loved the interview!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Annell! Glad you stopped by to read along :)

      Delete
  19. An interesting post that I enjoyed reading.

    Thank you. Love love, Andrew. Bye.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Andrew! Glad you enjoyed it and found it interesting :)

      Delete
  20. Loredana! a bit more of you and you world - glad to know that!:)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Akila! How nice of you to stop by :)

      Delete
  21. Nice to learn about you, Loredana :) ~

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Michael! It was kind of you to take the time to read and comment :)

      Delete
  22. A really lovely interview Sherry. Loredana-you are such a talented and creative person. Keep using those talents and gifts to inspire us in 2014. Love the "kindness is my passion" line :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, David! Here is hoping to a creative and inspiring 2014 :)

      Delete
  23. Glad to have caught up with this interview at last. Loredana is a very interesting writer and blogger, whose work I enjoy. Lovely to meet the woman behind the artistry,.

    ReplyDelete