Interested readers can learn more from your book, but for the purposes of this interview, how would you describe yourself from a creative viewpoint?
I am an avid observer of the world I inhabit.
When did you first find an interest in poetry?
I first got interested in poetry when my mom gave me The World of Winnie the Pooh when I was 7. The second half of the book was poetry. I also received A Child’s Garden of Verses from her as well. I’ve been hooked ever since.
Where do you find creative inspiration?
Mostly from observing and listening to what is around me: people, nature, music, stories, art. Many things can be fodder for a writer. Family and friends are nice enough to provide a sounding board for my writing, and their feedback and critiques inspire and motivate me.
Who has influenced your poetic style the most?
That’s a difficult question. There are poets whose works I enjoy, but who have a different style than mine. But what I learn most from reading other poets is how to make words into a kind of visual music.
What subjects or subject matter is most prominent in Driving in the Dark?
Recollections of family, childhood and adulthood. The beauty that I discover in the natural world. Experiences of joy, sadness, solitude and relationship.
Now that you are published, what advice would you give to other aspiring poets regarding how the industry works and how to be successful?
There are so many publications, online and print, that it can be daunting to decide where to submit your work. Find out the publications that you think would be the best fit for your writing. Ask other writers about their experiences in getting poems or a poetry collection published. Rejections are hard, but if you’re serious about your writing, just keep at it.
To learn more about Leslie’s passion for poetry or to purchase Leslie’s book, visit https://www.finishinglinepress.com/product/driving-in-the-dark-by-leslie-clark/
Leslie Clark photograph courtesy of Jake Anderson/OMS Photo