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Author Interview: Sara Lauritzen

In celebration of National Poetry Month, I think it is only fitting to have an interview with a poet! Sara Lauritzen is the author of Iconic Poetry, a collection of poems about some of our society’s most famous icons.

Note: Anything in blue from this point forward is my personal commentary.

Here is the interview:

Random Stuff:

1. If you could invite anyone from history (living or dead) to dinner at your house, who would you invite? Why?

I would invite Susan B. Anthony and show her our world today and the efforts that have been made since her day. I like her character and courage, she was a true leader.

Fantastic choice! I would have FDR at my dinner table. Wouldn’t the two of them make for a night of enlightening conversation?

2. In the introduction of your book you mentioned that you lived in Dubai. I’m curious about what led you to such an interesting and unusual place. What did you enjoy most about living in another country?

My husband was asked to set up an office in Dubai, so naturally we jumped at the chance to experience life in this part of the world. I particularly enjoyed the level of creativity. It was like being in a real life game of “Sim City”, the city-building simulation game. It seemed there were no limits to the fascinating designs buildings were shaped into - even the highway overpasses were decorative and interesting to look at.

3. If you were to write an “iconic” poem about a celebrity, who would you choose? Could you share a stanza or two of your poem?

All wispy at the ends, hair brown, neat and shinny
Your eyes are shaped and lashed like a Deer
A smile full of caring, you’re gentle and dreamy
This is only the start of your career
Your voice, smooth and lulling can be heard all over
The world, you’re a star in every way
Thousands of fans follow you
Watch, learn and are hopeful of meeting
The Bieber, one day!

Oh my teenage students will love this! They are obsessed with Justin Bieber.

Technical Stuff:

1. I loved that your poetry collection had poems about Starbucks and iPods. If you were to write another edition of Iconic Poetry, what “icons” would you write about this time?

You Tube, Blogging, and the Statue of Liberty for starters.

Oh, I love the idea of adding a poem about Lady Liberty. It will be fun to pair that with the classic “The New Colossus.” I can only imagine what will come in a poem about YouTube. If it’s anything like the Ebay poem, it will be humorous and true to life.

2. What advice would you give young writers?

Write from the part of yourself that is truly you and do not judge your work by comparing it to what others have done. A friend once said to me “we think we should be more of what everyone else has done out there when instead we should be more of what we are.”

Wow. Your friend really nails it. In an age of copycats, being original does mean something.

3. What did you find to be the hardest part of the writing process?

It took time to get the rhyming part of the poetry to stay true to each icon. It was important to me, not to use any fluffy fillers. If I couldn’t find a rhyming word that matched the authenticity of the icon, I changed the poem altogether.

I wondered how the rhyming worked for you. When I was teaching poetry to my students they had a really hard time with the rhymes. It was easy to rhyme a few lines, but they found that multiple stanzas are an entirely different animal!

A special thank you to Sara Lauritzen for participating in this interview. If you would like to learn more about her (she's very interesting) or her poetry book Iconic Poetry, check out her website here.


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The Search for Delicious Natalie Babbitt
Product Details

Reading level: Young Adult
Paperback: 192 pages
Publisher: Square Fish (August 21, 2007)
ISBN-10: 9780312369828
Source: My personal book

Summary from Amazon: Gaylen, the King’s messenger, a skinny boy of twelve, is off to poll the kingdom, traveling from town to farmstead to town on his horse, Marrow. At first it is merely a question of disagreement at the royal castle over which food should stand for Delicious in the new dictionary. But soon it seems that the search for Delicious had better succeed if civil war is to be avoided.

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