October 20, 2006

Five Questions With Barbra Nightingale

Barbra NightingaleBarbra Nightingale has had over 200 poems published in various journals, anthologies, and webzines, including, MiPo, Tertulia, The Georgetown Review, Barrow Street, MacGuffin, Kalliope, Calyx, Tigertail, Florida in Poetry, and many others. She has a doctoral degree in Higher Education, and is a senior professor of literature and creative writing at Broward Community College in South Florida. She lives in Hollywood, Florida.

1. Which author and/or book has most influenced you?

The Source byJames Michener, Henderson, the Rain King by Saul Bellow and Sylvia Plath's Ariel probably influenced me the most.

2. How has living and working in South Florida shaped your work?

I am very aware of my natural surroundings in Florida; the heat, the heavy air, the closeness of the moon, the song of the stars. And clouds. Clouds here seem to figure in my work a lot, along with the sea. Also, my best friends in Florida are all poets and the community here has inspired me like nowhere else.

3. Why did you choose the name "Miranda" for your poetic alter ego?

Miranda is a name that came to me in 1981. I have no idea why. It just popped into my head. I liked the syllabic sound of it, but there was really no consciousness in choosing the name. After about 30 or 40 Miranda poems, though, I did start thinking about the connections between Miranda Rights (the right to remain silent--or NOT--) seemed to have special significance.

4. "Love takes off masks that we fear we cannot live without and know we cannot live within"-- James Baldwin. How does this relate to your poetry?

Because I love what I do (work with words), I use poetry in that same way, as a way to take off the masks, allow the REAL emotions or truths, mostly emotional truths whether the situation is fictional or not, to shine through.

5. What role does myth play in your poetry?

I think that my knowledge of myth and fairy tale has always fed into my poetry, even in the most oblique ways; just in the story telling and suspense and layers of meaning if nothing else.

6. What makes you laugh?

MYSELF. All my silly little foibles, insecurities, mistakes. Life. Love. Everyone.


Next Week

Monday. In My Own Words: Pam Mordecai, author of Pink Icing

Friday. Five Questions With Marlon James.


Stephen A. Bess said...

Again, this is a very cool and informative series that you do here. Have a great weekend Geoffrey. Peace~

Anonymous said...

Hi Geoffrey

I don't see archives by the month (?)

I was looking for a post from a month or so ago.

Geoffrey Philp said...

Dear Anonymous,
I think I changed the frequency from monthly to weekly because of some RSS considerations. Anyway, why not use the Google search function. And if that doesn't work, send me an email. I'm not that old that I can't remember my own posts.