Lynne Kemen

One of the things I love about Shoes for Lucy is the story-like quality of your collection. Poems, even the very spare ones, contain whole stories and multiple characters. You’re playing with genre, somewhere between poetry and fiction.

Charles Jensen calls this kind of writing Genre Bending. I like that. I love all kinds of writing and forms—it’s a chance to play, contort yourself into a particular kind of pattern and figure out how to write within that constraint.

In pieces like “Nuns in an Egg” and “The Best Advice,” you take sayings and aphorisms, and you try to dissect them, even turn them on their heads.

That’s the way my brain works. I love word play. Some words are delicious to say, to roll around in my mouth. I was just talking with a friend about how we both like to describe scudding clouds. Other words are distasteful to say, like eutrophication. It’s mostly about how the words feel when I say them. I like to use words, turn them around, use something that sounds like the word but has another meaning. My neurons are firing away and making new patterns. I guess that’s my sense of humor.

Read the full interview with Lynne Kemen by J.D. Isip in The Blue Mountain Review, December 2023.