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Try Poetry: Dream of Me as Water + David Ly
Today’s Try Poetry poet is ReLit award finalist David Ly and his latest collection Dream of Me as Water (Palimpsest Press). David tells us about poetry as escape and shares the sinuous concrete poem “Eels” from the book.
An Interview with Poet David LyAll Lit Up: When was the moment that you decided you wanted to write poetry?David Ly: I think it was a gradual process for me wanting to write poetry. I had just finished my BA with one poetry course where I wrote what I thought poetry should / could be (i.e. poems filled with imagery that struck me and in simple language without sounding convoluted). By the time I got to grad school, I think I was so inundated with the course work that I needed an escape, so I picked up writing poetry again and around the time I finished my studies, I was able to put together my chapbook, Stubble Burn (Anstruther Press, 2018).ALU: If you had to pitch your featured poem to someone who had never read poetry before, how would you do so? DL: I would say that “Eels” could be an example of relying on one main poetic device (i.e. imagery) in a poem. This poem came about because I wanted to write something about eels, but did not quite know where to start. I spent days thinking about the creatures, and eventually just sat down writing how it felt thinking about them for so long: like they were pouring from my body. The shape of the poem was an idea I came up with to make it resemble the slithery body of an eel, further showing how ingrained they were in my mind and onto the page.ALU: What’s a poetry collection or individual poem that you’d recommend to anyone looking to get into poetry?DL: Summertime Swamp-Love by Patricia Young.
“Eels”From David Ly’s collection Dream of Me as Water
* * *David Ly is the author of the poetry collections Mythical Man (shortlisted for the 2021 ReLit Poetry Award) and Dream of Me as Water. He is the poetry editor at This Magazine.Photo of David by Joy Gyamfi.
* * *Thanks to David Ly for answering our questionnaire and sharing “Eels” with us for Try Poetry (Why Not?).Remember, if you purchase a copy of Dream of Me as Water or any of the other featured Try Poetry collections, you’ll receive a free digital sampler containing all of our featured poems. (Purchase from All Lit Up or from your local independent bookseller; send proof of payment to email@example.com if you purchase from your local!)