Sweet Connections: Carolyn Williams-Noren

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: Carolyn Williams-Noren
Title of Piece Published in Sweet: My Daughter and Her Best Friend Made Blue Jay Masks at Camp

Noren Photo

Find her:

Carolyn can be found writing, editing/proofreading for writers and publishers, and teaching at the Loft Literary Center. In between, she spends a lot of time walking (with her canine friend Luna) near the Mississippi River, puttering around her garden, and schlepping children from place to place. You can find out more about Carolyn by visiting her website.

What are some major accomplishments you have had since your Sweet publication?

The best news I’ve heard in a while is that the awesome little press known as Ethel will publish my chapbook, F L I G H T S, in mid-2020. And a new poem, “Working the Puzzle,” will be in Cimarron Review this fall.

Can you tell us about a current/ongoing project that you’re excited about?

I’ve been writing poems that reckon with the ways I’ve been (still am) connected to the oil industry.

Who is your favorite author?

This is the hardest question, and of course there’s not just one. A contemporary author I’ve been thinking a lot about lately is Ruth Ozeki. Her writing has followed such an interesting path over the years, and I’ve found her work meaningful in a different way each time I’ve intersected with it . I stumbled on My Year of Meats years ago and adored its form, humor, and subject matter. Of course A Tale for the Time Being was immensely popular and well-loved, and, besides being just plain intriguing and enjoyable, happened to connect with some ideas I’d been thinking about, too. And then, more recently, I brought The Face: A Time Code on a camping trip. It’s a record of a sustained meditation in front of a mirror, and wow — the face, identity, memory, aging — what a little book to read beside a lake!

What is your favorite poem/essay/book?

The book of poems I feel closest to is Jane Kenyon’s Let Evening Come.

What inspires you to write?

In July, as a way of getting unstuck, I wrote (quickly!) an abecedarium called “Reasons to Write a Poem.” Here’s a little bit of it:

Homes. Howling. How are you.

Indecision. Ice, all kinds. Inklings.

Jettison, jam.

Kaleidoscope, cake.

Lemons, lifetimes.

Marriage. Motherhood. Multiplicity. Men. Manliness.

Nobody knows.

Open the mouth.

What is your favorite sweet?

These brownies are my go-to.

Thank you, Carolyn, for taking the time to reconnect with us.  We look forward to seeing more of your work in the future!

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