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: Maxima Kahn
Title of Piece Published in Sweet: Following the Footsteps
Maxima lives in a beautiful little town in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada in Northern California, part of the amazing Yuba River watershed. Maxima’s website is currently under reconstruction, but you can learn more about her by visiting her blog and Patreon.
What are some major accomplishments you have had since your Sweet publication?
I’m deliriously excited that my first full-length collection of poems, Fierce Aria, is forthcoming from Finishing Line Press. This comes after years of intensive work on it and sending it to a lot of contests and presses. So, if you’re sending your manuscript around, keep at it! I’ve also had poems published in a bunch of wonderful literary journals since Sweet and essays on popular blog sites. And I helped to put on the Sierra Poetry Festival last year, which was amazing. Forrest Gander was our keynote. We are underway planning this year’s festival: https://www.sierrapoetryfestival.org/
Can you tell us about a current/ongoing project that you’re excited about?
I am writing new poems and essays and also working on a book on how to ignite and sustain the fires of your creativity, which is my area of expertise.
Meanwhile, my Patreon site has turned out to be a source of immense pleasure for me, to be able to intimately share my working process, my ups and downs and insights, my poems-in-process, and to converse with others about their creative process, has been so wonderful.
Who is your favorite author?
I don’t have just one. In fact, there are truly way too many to name. Here are a few of the long-time faves: J.D. Salinger, Jorie Graham, Rainer Maria Rilke, A.R. Ammons, Mark Doty. Here are a few recent reads that have totally inspired me: Tracy K. Smith, Joan Houlihan, Rusty Morrison.
What is your favorite poem/essay/book?
Again, this is an impossible question. Two books that changed my life include Virginia Woolf’s To the Lighthouse and Mary Oliver’s American Primitive.
What inspires you to write?
I wanted to say everything, but truthfully a few things inspire me more than anything else: 1) Reading great writing, especially adventurous, remarkable, smart writing with dazzling, surprising use of language. 2) Wrestling with how to be a human being on planet Earth—ideas, questions, feelings. 3) Partaking of amazing art of any kind. These three things really get me going.
What is your favorite sweet?
Last night I had delicious dark chocolate with cherries from Chocolove. These are cool because they are fair trade and also come with a poem in them. Here’s a link in case anyone wants to buy me one! https://www.chocolove.com/shop/fair-trade-organic-dark-chocolate-cherries-73-cocoa/
Thank you, Maxima, for taking the time to reconnect with us. We look forward to seeing more of your work in the future!