This week we welcome a fixture in the local poetry scene, the well-regarded Ms. Sheri Wright!
Tell us about your latest project.
My new poetry collection, The Feast of Erasure, was released over the summer. This is my most personal book, often drawing on my own experiences, as well as those of people close to me at some point. The theme here is diminishment, death, grief and loss, although not always in a negative context. Sometimes, what we let go of is cause for celebration despite apprehension of change. I also explore the results of not taking responsibility for letting go of what no longer serves us in a healthy way.
I have a newly completed book of photography I hope to release soon. Plus, I’ve just begun pre-production on a documentary film I’m producing, directing and writing the script for.
You were nominated for a Pushcart prize last year, correct? Any other awards to share with us?
Yes. I’m so delighted to announce my nomination for Kentucky Poet Laureate. I still can’t believe it, or express how much I appreciate the recognition. It’s very humbling to know someone thought enough of my poetry to toss my name into the ring.
Would area readers know you outside of your work?
That’s tough question. I think many writers are often unknown, unless they are famous, like Margaret Atwood, or Stephen King. It’s not like we are rock stars making headlines, biting the heads off bats. I do hope I speak for most of us.
Who are your favorite writers from the Louisville/Southern Indiana area?
There are so many writers in the region who I admire. The area is flush with talent – Sonja DeVries, W. Loran Smith, Jimmy Besseck, to name a few. We are luck to live here among so many writers and writer’s groups that truly support each other and the craft of writing.
Tell us about your favorite bookstores/coffee shops/writing haunts. What makes them special? (If you don’t buy into the stereotype of the writer surrounded by books and coffee, then tell us more about where and how you write.)
I rarely am able to write in a coffeehouse environment. It’s too noisy, distracting. I need a quite place by myself to fall completely into the creative process, have enough room for words to cook while I’m slightly occupied with something menial like weeding. That said, I do like the atmosphere of coffee shops, bookstores. Although not a coffee house, Hillbilly Tea is my favorite place for atmosphere. There’s no other place like it. Great food, tea, libations. Can we go now?
Yes, let’s please! Once we’ve had our tea, what’s next on the writing slate, for you?
I have another collection of poetry nearly complete, plus a book of my photography combined with text and poetry. I’m hoping, with the latter, to introduce poetry to people who may have had a limited exposure to the form. I’ve heard so many times, how folks thought poetry was only about love, sunshine and roses. And not that it can’t be, but most poetry I’ve read leans more into what we are afraid of, what we hide or wish to have revealed. Poetry is limitless in its reach into every human, or non-human experience.
Sheri, that sounds really awesome. You are so right: poetry is limitless. Keep up the fantastic work and I look forward to your next release!
Readers, if you know an author who deserves to shine in the Local Author Spotlight, please get in touch. Either side of the river is fine–we speak Southern Indianaese, too! Books about relevant local subject matter are encouraged, as well. Email RedTashBooks@gmail.com and please put “LouisvilleKY.com Author Spotlight” in your email subject. Thanks!
Stay tuned for more local author news. I hope you’re discovering some fantastic new reads, from names new and old on the literary scene.
Leslea Tash is a Southern Indiana journalist-turned-novelist. Formerly known for a weekly national column on parenting and family life, she now writes dark fantasy like the 5 Star Amazon hit Troll Or Derby and The Wizard Tales under the pen name Red Tash. She always welcomes your feedback on this column on the LouisvilleKY.com site, on Facebook, on her websites or twitter.