This Saturday is a special Saturday. Why, you ask?! Because this Saturday Emma Eden Ramos’ new chapbook, “Three Women: A Poetic Triptych” comes out! For me, this has been one of the most exciting chapbooks to edit. It is vastly different than the other HHI chapbooks in that…well, read this interview with Emma Eden Ramos herself and you will understand! Emma is young, talented, and hungry. I highly recommend this collection, and I hope that all of you support her by either purchasing or downloading the chapbook this Saturday! I hope you enjoy this interview!
What should we, the readers, know about Emma Eden Ramos the woman?
I am New York City born and raised, so much of what I write either takes place in or somehow involves the city.
I began college as a Psychology student, with the intention of practicing analysis during the day and writing fiction in the evenings. While my plans have changed, it seems unfair to address my writing without mentioning my studies. My writing is deeply influenced by my interest in psychology.
Who are some of your favorite writers?
In terms of poetry, I’d say my favorite writer is Adrienne Rich. Her poems “Heroines” and “Integrity” from A Wild Patience Has Taken Me This Far have deeply moved and inspired me. Other poets I love are Stephen Dunn, Linda Gregerson, Robert Lowell, Anne Sexton, Patricia Smith, Sarah Hannah, Linda Gregg, and Pablo Neruda. The list could go on.
Describe the typical process you go through when writing a poem.
I generally gravitate toward writing poetry when I am overwhelmed by a single emotion. Emotions, for me at least, can be difficult to identify. If I sit on the floor in my bedroom, my computer on my lap, and construct a narrative in verse, many times I gain personal understanding through what comes out on the page. I generally write narrative poetry, from a first person perspective. I learn a lot by speaking through other voices.
Would you say that there is a certain theme to this chapbook? If so, what is it?
Isolation and the need for human connection.
What inspired the format of this chapbook? Did you know from the first moment that it would be primarily a narrative-style collection?
Before I began writing “Three Women: A Poetic Triptych”, I was working on a children’s novel that was loosely based on Dante’s Divine Comedy. When I started the “Triptych,” the narrative structure of Dante’s “Inferno” was very much in my mind. I knew I wanted to tell a story. I read Nabokov’s Pale Fire and a number of narrative poems to put myself “in the mood” and help lay a foundation.
Were any of the characters in the chapbook inspired by real-life people, film characters, or other literary characters? If so, which ones?
In their early stages, I assigned each character from “Three Women: A Poetic Triptych” a female archetype from Greek mythology. I wanted Annette, Julia and Milena to each possess qualities that are fundamental to three main archetypes. Julia, for me, is very much based on Persephone. She is the daughter trapped in the Underworld, which in her case, is adolescence. I saw Annette as an embodiment of Aphrodite. Like Lily Bart in Edith Wharton’s The House of Mirth, Annette is beautiful to a fault. She is a woman who desperately strives for substance and depth, but her physical “perfection” constantly stands in her way. On the inside she is an emotional wreck, but her appearance renders her pain invisible. Like Athena, Milena is a warrior. She is a woman who is not only brilliant and beautiful but has strength and wisdom that allow her to push through life in spite of the horror and suffering she has endured.
What are your favorite things to write about?
Relationships and human connections.
What are your favorite unpublished pieces in this collection?
My favorite piece in the collection is “Three Women: A Poetic Triptych.”
What is it that made you want to do this chapbook through Heavy Hands Ink?
While looking through HHI’s issues and chapbooks, I was impressed by their willingness to take risks. HHI publishes works that are lyrical, experimental, and political. If a poet has an agenda or an idea that is unconventional, HHI has no problem giving him or her an arena from which to be heard.
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