A Sparrow Any Day : Kaitlin Bostick

Work featured in this issue:

"Sparrow Girl", "Season of the Wild Ones", "With the Wild Flowers", "Heaven"

"I live in redbud trees, half grown with buckling limbs" - You seem to have an uncanny connection with nature and you invoke it as if you're in dialogue with it directly. How do you relate the natural with yourself when you're writing? Is this connection motivated by anything in particular?

For me, the natural world, particularly trees, were a very big part of my past and childhood. My hometown had two tree nurseries in it, so when I think of the landscape there I can't bring it to mind without seeing trees. I'm also just generally more comfortable outdoors, so it is a landscape I'm more comfortable creating in my writing as well.

In "Heaven", there's a character, Graham, which is your brother, right? He pops up in a lot of your other work. Is he aware that he's a character in your poems and how does he feel about that?

Graham is my brother and he does pop up in a lot of my poetry. A lot of my poems start from an autobiographical moment and branch out or grow from there, so I think it's pretty normal that he shows up a lot. There are other times, however, when I just want or need a brother figure and, for me, his name is obviously synonymous with the word "brother" so I'll use it. I have told him that he is in a lot of my writing and I think he is pretty comfortable with it as long as he doesn't have to read it!

Would you rather be a sparrow, a tree, or a wild flower?

I'd be a sparrow, definitely, any day of the week.

Is there any sort of ritual you perform when preparing to embark on the process of writing? What is your methodology from idea to page, and what sort of things help that transition along?

I do a lot of writing in my head, particularly the first two lines. I'll get two lines in my head that I really like working with and I'll keep those lines in there until I can see where the poem is going. The rest of my writing ritual is pretty basic. I have to have it really quiet because I'll let myself get really, easily distracted (I'm incredibly jealous of any poet that can write to music) and I always work with a notebook and a pencil before I even consider typing it up.