An interview with Connie Voisine, editor-in-chief of August Poetry

Connie Neighbor is Zócalo’s poetry editor and the brains behind our 2022 Poetry Curator series, which features monthly revivals of the poetry section by different guest curators. An English professor at New Mexico State University, where she directs the creative writing program, she is also the author of several books of poetry, including the most recent, The Arbor. Neighbor, who generously agreed to take part in the Zócalo Poetry Takeover as August Curator, joined us in the Green Room to discuss her mystery-book-a-week, “solidly ordinary food” diet in Northern Ireland, and the most important year of his life.

Q:

If you didn’t live in the United States, where would you live?

A:

I have to make my family members happy, so Ireland. I like it there, and they like it too. But if I was a solo traveler, I would probably move every six months – six months in Rome, six months in France, etc. I first went to Rome in February, and by the time I left I felt I wasn’t done with the city yet. Cross the bridge over the Tiber, see the ruins of the theater where Julius Caesar was stabbed from our Airbnb room. [It gave me] creepy being a person inhabiting Western European literature -[this] idea of ​​classics being something people walk on their way to the donut shop.


Q:

What is your guilty pleasure?

A:

I am very interested in detective novels and I read almost one a week. I decided not to feel too guilty. There’s so much available across the genre now that’s taken seriously as a literary form, like science fiction, fantasy, police procedurals – you can find some of the best writing in those areas.


Q:

What food do you find irresistible?

A:

The kitchen itself is an escape reality for me. I love that time of day when I can cook a meal. I recently watched the Netflix documentary Julie Child and just seeing her engage with food and what it brought her expressed a lot of feelings I had about food and cooking. As a child, I was a very picky eater, but somehow I was developing this palate that was particular and sharp.


Q:

What do you like to cook?

A:

I don’t really know but we have just returned from six months in Northern Ireland. All they have available locally is really really good food. The whole island has learned to really use these ingredients. It was solidly ordinary food, but really good, so that’s what I’ve been thinking about a lot lately. What is the food we eat here? People have a different idea of ​​what their regular food is in America, because we have so much more access to different types of food, different cultures, traditions. What is ordinary to you and how could it be made truly delicious?


Q:

What’s in your house that you should already be throwing out but haven’t yet?

A:

So many things! There are a lot of spices that I haven’t used, and you’re not supposed to keep them for years, but I can’t throw them away. There are a lot of books that I should probably admit I will never read. Even these shoes I brought back from Ireland, they are beautiful, but have I ever worn them?


Comments are closed.