Poetry Muse: Lynne Sargent + A Refuge of Tales

Today Lynne Sargent, author of A Refuge of Tales (Renaissance Press) joins us on Poetry Muse. They shares why they like the liminality that poetry offers, why they describes their poetry collection as a terrible beauty, and which songs from the Lord of the Rings Musical and from a Florence and the Machine album inspired two poems from their collection. 


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Who is your muse?The world around me is my muse! I write about everything and anything—the places I walk, the books I read, the sensations I experience. I carry my notebook around with me and will often write when I am out and about. What inspired you when you started writing your poetry collection? And what is your creative process when you begin writing? My poetry collection started to come together organically. I was building up a body of work and starting to see some really strong themes and throughlines in it. I started organizing said works and seeing where there were gaps and then I began to fill them in. Originally the first and last sections (A Myth of Women, and A Refuge of Tales ) were their own chapbooks, but then I saw there was the potential for a larger collection. I don’t have any writing rituals except that I always do my first drafts on pen & paper, usually my notebook and fountain pen. I will write anywhere and everywhere! On a park bench, in the dark corner of a bar, at a concert, on a boat, in bed, you name it and I have probably written there. When did you start writing poetry and why did you choose to write poetry over other forms of literature?I started to write poetry in Grade 9 after a book report assignment that required me to write a poem based on the book I was reporting on (Mary Hoffman’s Stravaganza: City of Masks). The words came pouring out of me and it was so easy and I have never looked back. I don’t write poetry over other forms of literature, I write poetry in addition to other forms of literature! I like the liminality that poetry offers, the fluidity of associations, the fact that there is no need to provide concrete answers. How would you describe your poetry collection?  Three words: Fairytales, Oppression, LyricismI would describe my collection as a terrible beauty. The content is hard, it’s sad and difficult, but there is hope there in places and for me it is an act of reclaiming.What advice would you give to aspiring poets?Write! Write everything! Write whatever you want to write! Feel thing! Love your own writing! Don’t ever feel bad about how intense you are. Are there any poets or poetry collections that you admire? There are so many poets I admire! Some of my favourite semi-recent poetry collections include Amal El-Mohtar’s “The Honey Month,” Brandon O’Brien’s “Can You Sign My Tentacle?” and Dominik Parisien’s “Side Effects May Include Strangers.” Does music inspire you when you start writing poetry? There were two poems that were inspired by songs in this collection: “Subversive Songs,” was inspired by “The Road Goes On,” from The Lord of the Rings Musical (Original London Production)“Howl,” was inspired by “Howl” by Florence and the Machine 

A poem from A Refuge of Tales

Hamilton Harbor The fires at the edgeof the water temptdrowning men to stay. *** The harbor has sunka thousand dreams steel bentinto artinto inequity *** The pathways crumblegiving way to communitiesof animalistic fey reminding usthat even in our urban junglethe lake is wild, and can floodour hopes, our indulgences leaving us all beggarson half-submerged benches.

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Lynne Sargent is a writer, aerialist, and philosophy Ph.D candidate. They are the poetry editor at Utopia Science Fiction magazine. Their work has been nominated for Rhysling, Elgin, and Aurora Awards, and has appeared in venues such as Augur Magazine, Strange Horizons, and Daily Science Fiction. Their first collection, A Refuge of Tales is out now from Renaissance Press. To find out more, reach out to them on Twitter @SamLynneS or for a complete bibliography visit them at scribbledshadows.wordpress.com. 

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During the month of April, you can buy A Refuge of Tales and any one of our other featured Poetry Muse books for 15% off + free shipping in Canada with promo code ALUPOETRYMUSE. Or find them at your local independent bookstore! Keep up with us all month onTwitterInstagram, andFacebook with the hashtag #ALUPoetryMuse.