Interview with Leigh Chadwick
Ariana: First, you’ve just become a mom recently. What is the best thing about being a mom?
Leigh: Those times between the shitting, when she’s freshly bathed and half asleep, nestled in the crook of your arm and you’re both watching basketball and you’re explaining to her why Jimmy Buckets is a top 10 player. (Shut up, Andrew Bertaina.)
Also, when she’s asleep in her crib and she’s making that cooing sound.
I fucking love the cooing.
Ariana: You’re a teacher and a writer. The demands of both must leave them competing for attention. How do you feel teaching influences your writing and vice versa?
Leigh: They both definitely compete for attention, and they most certainly influence each other. When I ignore my students, my writing is better. When I decide to “properly prepare” a lesson and “engage” with my class, my writing suffers.
And obviously, since my poems are amazing, my students have turned out pretty dumb.
Ariana: What’s the one thing you wished you were told as a teenager you weren’t told?
Leigh: That things don’t always get better.
Ariana: Two of your poems in this issue are part of a forthcoming full-length collection. What did you find was the hardest part about writing Wound Channels?
Leigh: Coming up with the title. That took forever. I think it was your idea, calling it Wound Channels? Anyway, the title was tough. Also, deciding when the manuscript was done. (Still feel like I’m trying to figure that out.) Also, writing it. Also, putting the poems in a cohesive order. Also, trying not to make it too good. I didn’t want to embarrass every other book published around the same time, and I also didn’t want to disappoint anyone if my future books sucked in comparison.
Ariana: Who’s your favorite villain?
Leigh: Travis Cravey.
Ariana: I would classify your writing as a bit experimental. What do you think sets your writing apart from others?
Leigh: I think, maybe, it’s my unhealthy obsession with myself, and my inability to not express my unhealthy obsession with myself.
Ariana: Do you have any special projects you’re working on right now?
Leigh: I am currently trying to find a home for my publishing imprint, Leigh Chadwick Books. Also, I am working on a GoFundMe page, so I can afford to not win Fractured Lit’s writing contests.
Ariana: What can you tell us about your recent chapbook, Daughters of the State (Bottlecap Press, 2021)?
Leigh: Daughters of the State is a book about those we choose to forget. It is a sad book, and I wish I never felt the need to write it. I wish it never had a reason to exist.
I feel like I’m doing this wrong. I am not selling this book well at all.
What I mean is Daughters of the State is awesome, and what I can tell you is that you need to buy that shit right now.
Ariana: Singing in the rain or dancing in the streets? Either way, what’s the theme song?
Leigh: “Angel in the Snow” by Elliott Smith