Thursday, December 20, 2012

Interview with Aline Soules, Contributor to On Our Own: Widowhood for Smarties

Aline Soules contributed three beautiful poems to On Our Own:  Widowhood for Smarties.  Here's my interview with her:

TZ I was especially touched by your poem Apart, about donating your husband's organs.  

AS.  My husband experienced a brain aneurysm at the age of 54.  He was, in all other ways, healthy when he collapsed and his body continued for some hours after his collapse.  This enabled me to donate organs and tissues.  Everything was usable except his liver (he had been a chemist)--heart, lungs, kidneys, corneas, bone, skin.

TZ What’s been the hardest thing about being a widow?

AS I have a son, but no other living family.  This makes me alone a great deal of the time.  I miss our partnership, our love, our conversation, our intimacies of every kind.  I have no ballast.  I have no companion.  No one understands me in the way he did.  After 13 years, it's still a challenge.

TZ If you had to describe widowhood in a 6-word sentence, what would you say?

AS This is my final gift to my beloved--to endure for both of us
(sorry, more than 6 words!)

TZ Any advice for widows?

AS We are not unique.  Every year in this country, according to the U.S. Census, 13 million people are widowed every year, 2 million men, 11 million women. Each of us must cope; all of us must support each other. 

TZ Tell us about your writing background.  Have  you always written poetry?
AS I started writing as soon as I could hold a writing implement.  I write poetry, essays, short fiction, and have tried a novel or two over the years.  I earned my MFA in Creative Writing at Antioch University Los Angeles and one of the many benefits was the opportunity to write in two genres, not just one.  I chose poetry and fiction and had a wonderful experience exploring the interface between the two.

TZ Advice for writers?

AS Every day--write every day.  If it's good, that's wonderful.  If it's not so good, write anyway and get up tomorrow and do it again.

TZ Are you working on something now?

AS I have completed a chapbook called Evening Sun: a Widow's Journey.  The three poems in this anthology are part of it.  I've sought a publisher for some years and am now considering self-publishing it.  I've come close to winning contests, finishing 3rd or 5th or getting an honorable mention, but never quite won the prize.  It's time to send it out into the world.

TZ Your work deserves to be out in the world.  It's beautiful. 
Here's where readers can see more of it:   Meditation on Women





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