Part Three: Some Questions for DeLana Dameron

And here is the final installment of my interview with poet DeLana Dameron. If you want to keep up with her, check out her website.

Do you have any projects in the works that you’d like to tell us about?

I have what I believe is a “finished” collection. I put finished in quotes because I’ve learned working on this book the old truth: nothing is ever finished; it is only abandoned. I call it “Cartographer”. I consider it to be a collection of poems mapping emotional relationships with regards to place, among other things.

I am also being called to really re-dedicate myself to what is really my first book of poems. I can’t give you a working title, but it is largely a collection of poems based on the civilian perspective of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. I wrote my History thesis on this, and found myself with all of these narratives and stories swimming around me, that the only thing I could find to do after writing the pages and pages of historical text about it, was to put it in poem form. I call this process translating.

Since this is your first book, I’m sure you’re learned a lot along the way about writing and yourself. Would you mind speaking to that?

Well, I know that I am a control freak. But I learned, perhaps, that my need to “control” things translated different when a collection of poems is printed and people I don’t know or haven’t met can read about myself and family and my beliefs – and I won’t be there to defend it. I found that I could no longer protect my poems. This happened when I signed and handed over my first book (to the cover artist Alexandra Cespedes), and she took it and walked off and I realized that my words – a whole book of words – were really going out into the world, and I had shaped and groomed them all I could up until that point, and I no longer had a hand in who they’d be growing up to be. I pray they’ll find a nice and safe space to land.

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