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: Lisa Rhoades
Title of Piece Published in Sweet: “The Words at Hand”
Lisa can be found either on Staten Island or in Manhattan. Her Staten Island days are her writing days. Though when Lisa’s in the middle of a new poem she can be found scribbling on several forms of transportation and through her lunch break. You can learn more about Lisa by visiting her website.
What are some major accomplishments you have had since your Sweet publication?
Publishing at Sweet marked the happy start of a time period in which several individual poems found their literary homes online and in print and which culminated with the publication of my second full length collection, The Long Grass, at Saint Julian Press. (February, 2020). Can you tell us about a current/ongoing project that you’re excited about?
There was a long dry spell for me following my first collection, so I’m happy to say that the project I’m excited about right now is simply WRITING! The landscape of southern Missouri where my father grew up and where I spent most childhood summers, and of the north shore of Staten Island where I currently live are the site of several new poems, but it’s too early to tell if they will remain a focus.
Who is your favorite author?
I’m so in love with Ross Gay right now—The Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude and the Book of Delights. I love and aspire to the lyric, to the deep “yes” at the end of a poem that brings it all together.
What inspires you to write?
What inspires me to write is often another poem, which is another way of saying human relationships and the conversations between us in person and across time. And I suppose given how many of the poems in the second book are about mothering, I should also probably admit that the complicated work of parenthood gives me more ground than I can possibly cover.
What is your favorite sweet?
My favorite sweets are the ones I make for others and are seasonal in their delight: pecan pie at Thanksgiving; my grandmother’s white fruitcake and datebread every Christmas; King Cake during Mardi Gras season; and iced sugar cookies for spring and Easter. The cookie recipe is crazy simple, leaving you with plenty of energy for decorating.
Cut out cookies:
Cream one stick of butter with one cup of sugar. Beat in one egg, one tsp vanilla, ½ tsp salt, 1/2 tsp baking powder and 2 cups all purpose flour. Form into a disc, double wrap in plastic wrap and chill until ready to use. Roll out to desired thickness, cut with a favorite shape, and re-chill before baking until golden in a 350 degree oven. Baking on a silpat or parchment paper keeps them from sticking. Cool completely on a baking rack, store in an airtight container until decorated. Regarding decorating, buttercream is my favorite icing, but if you’re going for looks, you have to accept royal.
Thank you, Lisa, for taking the time to reconnect with us. We look forward to seeing more of your work in the future!