On Writing Poetry Vs. Novels
I find the writing of poetry and of novels to be quite different, but my first interest is always in language, and particularly in figurative language. I like discovering new ways to describe things. In both the poetry and the prose, I compose mostly via association. I begin with a sensory image—something like a river, or a snowstorm—and move through the details until I find an event or an emotion correlative to that imagery. But with poetry, there’s an accumulation of energy that I need to have already started on before I sit down to right. With a novel, that’s not possible. You can’t sustain that amount of energy for a project over many years. I can hack away, and come back and revise, and find the inspiration during the writing process itself, instead of before. I've never really started a novel from a poem, or vice versa, but I do find overlap of themes and images, particularly when I'm writing in the two genres simultaneously. I enjoy both a great deal, but if I were told I could write in only form for the rest of my life, I’d choose poetry. That’s where my love of writing started.
Click here to read a review of her latest novel, The Raising, on In The Next Room. To learn more about Laura's books and upcoming events visit her Author Page here.