Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Life of a Poet - A.M. Trumble

Hi, kids! In our community, we have a very energetic member called A.M. Trumble You can find her poems at Originals, and some cool examples of interior design on her other blog, A.M. Designs. Amy is a Poets United staffer; she is our ambassador on facebook, where she does a simply terrific job of keeping our profile happening out in the Big World. Yay, Amy! We all thank you so much for that! Somehow, I picture Amy in a loft, so let’s open the door, peek in, and see what the youngster has been up to.

Poets United: Amy, so happy to sit down with you at last! Is there a story behind the name of your blog?

Amy: The concept is almost juvenilely simple-I was reading an interview of The New Pornographer’s front man AC Newman –-they asked him how he came up such an “original” sound-he stated that his originality was only the result of his failed attempts to copy his idols. I loved that idea-and “stole” it immediately. And so “Originals” was born. I think it has really summed up, for me and my readers, my creative pursuits as far as my writing style and everything I attempt to do, especially online. I always like to think I’m at least attempting to do something new and different, but it seems to turn out best when it happens accidentally.

Poets United: I love that quote! Can you tell us a little about your life, your family, your part of the world, your career – whatever you want to share so we can see “the person behind the poetry”?

[ Amy sent along this Hump Day cartoon, since it’s Wednesday!]

Amy: Well, I hate to shatter my image, but I have a day job-one I actually enjoy, since I get to use my creativity a bit. I do technical writing, web-copy: blogging, newsletters, case-studies, social-networking, also a bit of administrative work: filing, answering the phone, yada-yada for a small company. There is some down-time and I always try to squeeze in some daily personal writing here and there. This isn’t exactly part of my great adventure, but I am hoping to have another one really soon! I’m so uninteresting! But really, I have no bones about telling people I live a very minimalist existence. I’m not a practicing Buddhist or anything, but I do like the idea of having things and people in my life that really matter to me, that is my core, and everything else is extraneous. To the layman, this is called apartment living. This, at times may make me appear lazy, but I assure you it is just intentional underachieving.

My husband who is an actor is an expert at this and has been teaching me his craft. We are still childless and we live in a quiet remote area outside of Philadelphia - my childhood stomping grounds, but I’ve been all over. Joel, my husband, and I just love to stay local and go swimming, go to restaurants, music cafes, movies. Although we rarely go into the city-we do however like to travel all over the country as we have friends everywhere and pack our bags at a moment’s notice. We’re just odd-folk.

Poets United: Well, you look pretty sweet together. It is way cool that you have a job that exercises your creativity. And a creative partner too. I, too, am a proponent of minimalist living. It’s great that you travel around, too. Sounds like a fun lifestyle. So, Amy, what is it about poetry that makes you want to write? Do you remember writing your first poem? Did you write in high school, and did any of the teachers recognize your talent?
Amy: I have to give credit to my first creative writing teacher for being the first to actually tell me I wasn’t wasting my time with this poetry-muck. She actually said, “Amy, you have the heart of a poet”; that really struck me. That kind of encouragement was a rare thing in that time of my life, and so it meant a lot. I really think I quoted her exactly, I’m pretty sure. That was the first time in my life, around the age of 15 or so, when I started sharing my poetry with other people-people my own age, which was scary!


[Pocono moments-isnt she adorable?]

As a kid I spent a lot of time alone with my writing- my family used to take trips to the Pocono mountains and I would spend hours taking everything in-no tv, no indoor plumbing. I definitely wasn't a spoiled kid, and I think I began to fill the time with thinking-and so writing just came naturally. I used to find copies of literary magazines lying around the cabin and dream about being one of those published authors. Before I attempted poetry I kept writing these rather humorous albeit half-baked short stories with no real plot-line. I was in the Young Author's conference in the fifth grade. I met Judy Bloom. When I started writing poems I think I used to write words vertically and then write a line for each letter of the word. That was my first poetry collection, in a spiral bound notebook. Much of my subject matter came from my family, love, and nature, and not much has changed!

Poets United: I suspected you began writing young. And what keeps you at it?

Amy: That feeling of being inspired is so exhilarating, and seeing that finished result is so cathartic. Coupled with the reactions of others who read my work, whether friends or strangers-it just makes me feel like I am serving a real purpose. I love to make people laugh, and I love to make them tear up-both reactions are equally valid to me.

Poets United: That’s what the best writers do; they make us laugh and cry. What style of poem do you write the most? Are there any kinds of poetry you find difficult, or tend to avoid?

Amy: It wasn't until entering academia that I learned that there was actually a designation to my style of writing. I tend to experiment with form, I used a lot of dashes-broken lines-dialogue, and work towards anything that is of a confessional nature. In fact, while the desire to be confessional drives my writing and ambition, being completely honest in my writing, or at least as fully descriptive as I'd like to be can prove to be a challenge. And then again, I love a challenge. Much of my improvement over the past couple of years has been my facing head-on the kinds of writing which I have been avoiding. In fact, while I do consider myself a poet first, I am currently working on some personal essays/memoirs, and getting back into playwrighting. I also have a journalistic/investigative blog called "Where are we going? or WAWG (here is the link for the blog:, which is a look into the decline of higher education, and education reform. I'm not a Jane of all trades exactly, but I love having a hand in everything! I am inspired by everything around me- I have plenty quirky people in my life to write about, some difficult personal experiences, social issues, other people's attitudes towards religion and life and other people - I have a lot to say.

A small stone I wrote recently was: "my lungs are sandbags. full of stories." For me that sums it up.

Poets United: I love it! It does say it all. I love doing these interviews, because everyone – especially every poet – has a great story to tell. No end of material! What is your take on poetry and the internet?

Amy: I feel I've always been an advocate for the internet and writing, which sounds pretty silly now that it is so prevalent, but this wasn't so just a few years ago-back when the internet was still a "scary thing". It isn't any less scary, but more people are starting to see the benefits of branching out, meeting so many people with like interests! They are out there, people, you just have to look! Writing in my livejournal was the first time I really shared my poetry publically outside of school-that was about 12 years ago, then over that time, I've met more poets and learned so much, but mostly gained the courage and the confidence in my craft to share it with everyone! I love the fact that now my knowledge has allowed me to help others by running "identity now", to contribute to co-running the Poet's United facebook with Robb, and to become a better writer than I ever imagined possible.

Poets United: Awesome, Amy, you sound busy and happy, and you do a wonderful job of promoting our community on Facebook. What about music? Do you love it? Do you play an instrument, or sing?

Amy: When I was a teen, I started acting and singing in community theater groups. Then I branched out a bit in high school and did some solo stuff- mostly at open mics and talent shows. I recorded some of my own stuff-nothing that great. While I was in California I studied writing and acting, and was a part of a fantastic theater group at Cal State San Marcos. Those were some really wonderful and talented people. Again I grew, and learned so much. I was doing more experimental theater and was moving away from musicals, so the singing took a back seat.

But eventually when I moved home, I joined a choral group and toured Ireland. The acting thing keeps coming up again and again. Having a husband as an actor has been another thing that really fostered my creativity and ambition. My husband and his friends are a part of Epicenter Theater group in Michigan (link to the facebook:!/EpicenterTheatreGroup). He and I are contributing from afar for now, but eventually we plan to move there and start a new adventure!

Poets United: Your life sounds fantastic, and so creative. The joy of two artists getting together: no limits to the adventures you can share! If you could meet anyone in the world, living or dead, who would it be?

Amy: I've had plenty of heroes in my life, but I think, oddly, the most influential were the Marx Bros - funny, I know, but I have a soft spot for anything anti-establishment, and a little silly - lots of personality thrown in there too, and talent! I really feel like, by watching them I got a really interesting insight into humor, writing, and philosophy, and also how to get on stage and let it all hang out.

Poets United: I didn’t expect that answer, but I totally know what you mean. This is where I usually ask if you’ve ever lived a great adventure, but it sounds like your whole life is one long adventure!

                              San Diego Photos
                                                                        San Diego

Amy: Moving out to California was once my great adventure. At 20 I had been able to cut the cord and go as far as 3500 miles and experience a life that still lingers in my dreams. I've had some heartache, but no regrets. My life is so much richer for it. Falling in love with my husband was my next great adventure. Far away from where I started, the man of my dreams ended up being in Northern Michigan.

The week we got married, I was diagnosed with Lyme disease, and so the next year that followed was quite a struggle for us emotionally. We got through it though, and in the meantime have lived and loved harder than ever. Like I said, I think our next big adventure has yet to come, with a little holding period in between! Stay Tuned!

Poets United: We will. You can count on it! Discovering you had Lyme disease right before your wedding must have been nerve-wracking. But the illness doesn’t seem to have slowed you down very much. If you could do anything or go anywhere, no limits, what would that be?
Amy: Getting published is my dream, and to run a creative writing group. Ok, I'll throw in famous actress/playwright since there are "no limits". I like knowing that it's possible for me to have all of these things if I keep plugging away. I am already self-publishing two poetry books through -"Ferris Wheel: free admissions" and "the great lights".

Poets United: Good for you, Amy. I love your titles. We’ll watch for them on your site. Is there anything else you would like to share with Poets United?

Amy: I am so happy to work so closely with everyone, and to learn your insights into poetry, creativity, and thought. I am the very real person behind all of those quotes and probing questions on facebook, and I love being her! :)

Poets United: We're very happy you're you, too! Thank you for giving us a glimpse into your fascinating life. And for the work you do on our behalf on facebook and your vibrant presence in the community. We’ll be watching with bated breath to see What Comes Next!

See, folks, isn’t it true that poets are some of the most interesting people around? Tune in next week to see who we talk to next. Who knows? It might be you!


  1. Multi faceted talent, Good in Interiors as well as writing.

  2. Terrific to learn more about Amy. She's a keen asset here!

  3. Amy sure is an interesting person, and a talented oneAmy sure is an interesting person, and a talented one

  4. As much as the piece puts Amy and her work (considerable) front and center, it still gives the feeling of just a snapshot. That's very encouraging and inspiring with the amount of work she clearly has left in her. I wish you all the best, my love, and I know you have the talent to accomplish everything you strive to do.

  5. Amy,
    It is lovely to find out so much about you and your interesting life.
    I admire the 'open form' style of poetry that you write.


  6. Wonderful interview again, Sherry! And nice to learn a bit more about Amy.

  7. Amy, I am SO SORRY for the error in this interview. I wrote Lupus instead of Lyme disease at first. Mary caught it and I did go in to change it, I swear I did at seven yesterday morning, but somehow or other today it still read Lupus. Argh. I so apologize and will be much more careful in the future. Amy, thank you for giving us such a wonderful, rich look into your exciting life. The mistake is all fixed now!!!!

  8. Oh dear, Sherry, you know what? I thought that was intentional-because we talked about how Lyme can be misdiagnosed as Lupus LOL so I didn't mind!!!

    :) Thanks for all of your efforts! I was thrilled with the result!

  9. Amy, I enjoyed seeing how multifaceted you are~ You have so many creative connections~ I love that you are both creative types; how fun! I look forward to your books and what you align to next~ :D
    Great Job Sherry n' Amy~

  10. Thanks Ella, and everyone for reading and sharing!!! This place is the best!


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