Each week we will be connecting with our contributors showing where they have been, where they are now, and what’s up for the future.
Name: M.P. Stout
Title of Piece published in Sweet: At the Annual Christmas Party
Meg resides in Southern Maine and juggles her time between working in marketing technology, writing, exploring the woods, and homesteading. She does not currently have a website.
What are some major accomplishments you have had since your Sweet publication?
I’d say my biggest accomplishment was finally deciding to take the MFA leap—something I’ve been wanting to do for years. I’m currently pursuing an MFA in poetry at Warren Wilson College. It’s such a blessing to have this time to focus on improving my craft, reading constantly, and absorbing everything I can learn from my fellow writers.
Can you tell us about a current/ongoing project that you’re excited about?
I love to forage for wild mushrooms, so unsurprisingly they have been popping up in my work a lot lately. I’m having fun experimenting with poems that confuse and scramble the inner and outer worlds. I’m interested in how emotion can suffuse the natural landscape, and I’m working on a number of poems that talk about and around grief.
Who is your favorite author?
Most recently, I’ve fallen in love with work by Brigit Pegeen Kelly, Louise Gluck, Yusef Komunyakaa, Elizabeth Bishop, Ross Gay, and Mark Doty.
What is your favorite poem/essay/book?
Impossible to narrow it down, but in my late teens I got my hands on a copy of Strike Sparks by Sharon Olds. Her work opened my mind to what poetry could do and be.
What inspires you to write?
I spend a lot of time in the woods, which always feeds my creative mind. This year, I’ve written about bioluminescent mushrooms, invasive moths, snapping turtle sex… all sorts of oddities. Since moving to a rural home, climate change has been haunting my thoughts more than ever. I’m noticing it appearing everywhere in my work. The more I fall in love with the land, the more painful it becomes to observe what has happened—and what could happen—to the natural communities I’ve gotten to know.
What is your favorite sweet?
Vegan chocolate mousse is so easy and rich. Just chill a can of coconut cream, then blend with cocoa powder, honey, and a dash of salt.
Thank you, Meg, for taking the time to reconnect with us. We look forward to seeing more of your work in the future!