Tuesday, January 1, 2019



ALICJA KUBERSKA: What does poetry mean to you?

SUSAN JOYNER STUMPF: To me, Poetry is an expression of one’s Soul, where emotions, feelings and thoughts are put into words.

ALICJA KUBERSKA: What’s according to you the meaning of poetry in the contemporary world?

SUSAN JOYNER STUMPF: The meaning of poetry to me in the contemporary world is the modernistic approach to common trends including stream of consciousness style, free verse, and the preference for suggestion or ambiguity of ideas as opposed to 19th century more disciplined, structured formats that utilized frequent rhyme scheme.  I enjoy modern poetry for its freedom in expression.

ALICJA KUBERSKA:  Can you describe your creative process while writing a new poem?

SUSAN JOYNER STUMPF: My creative process involves a wave of creativity washing over me with ideas floating around in my mind, heart and Soul begging to be written.  The words won’t leave me alone until I write them down.  It all just comes to me anytime, anywhere ~ ~ my creativity strikes in the waking state as well as dream state.

ALICJA KUBERSKA:  Did it happen to you that a poem was just your dream?

SUSAN JOYNER STUMPF: As mentioned above, many of my poems were composed in dreams and I memorized them in a lucid state and tore myself out of the dream to get the words down before they would be lost forever.  You can almost tell the difference between poetry written in the dream state as opposed to the waking state:  it reads more outer-worldly, almost ethereal in feel.

ALICJA KUBERSKA: Tell us about your inspiration. What’re the most important subjects to you?

SUSAN JOYNER STUMPF: I can be inspired by an animal, a tree, a roaring creek, the sad look on a person’s face in a mall.   Inspiration hits anytime and no place in particular.  I always have a notepad and pen available just in case.  Important subjects to me are Nature, Wildlife, pets, love, loss, and friendship, emotional matters of happiness, fear and sorrow.

MARIA MIRAGLIA:  Which were the emotions that inspired your first verses?

SUSAN JOYNER STUMPF: Rejection as a child.  I’ve been writing since the age of six.  I came from an abusive childhood of Sexual and Physical Abuse.  Writing saved my Life.

MARIA MIRAGLIA: Was your aspiration to become a poet or did all happen by chance?

SUSAN JOYNER STUMPF: Yes, ever since a young age, I’ve always dreamed of being a writer.  I never wanted to make money or fame out of it; I just wanted to touch lives with my words.  I never thought I’d be rich or famous, in other words.  That doesn’t seem to matter to me as much as someone reading something I wrote and feeling something from it.  That’s the greatest reward.

MARIA MIRAGLIA:  Who is the first person you read your poems to and why?

SUSAN JOYNER STUMPF: I read my poems and short stories to my Baby-Sitter.  My family wasn’t interested in me at all.  But it was my Baby-Sitter (an older woman at the time) that saw my talent as a young girl and encouraged me to continue.

MARIA MIRAGLIA:  Have you published any poetic anthology, if so what did you feel the first time you got it in your hands?

SUSAN JOYNER STUMPF: I have written 40 books.  Your first book is always the MOST special, like your first-born child.  It’s my baby and the rest of my books are its siblings, lol.  It felt remarkable and a keen sense of accomplishment when I published my first book at twenty-two.  I felt like I had made it and could be in the class of Published Writers, in which I was proud.

MARIA MIRAGLIA:  Who are the poets you prefer reading? Do you get inspiration from them?

SUSAN JOYNER STUMPF: Yes, at an early age, I discovered T.S. Eliot and e.e. Cummings and thus they paved the way for my own stylistic approach to writing:  the steam of consciousness panache and free verse.

APRILIA ZANK:  How important is accessibility of meaning to you? Do you challenge the readers to work hard to decipher your poems, or do you prefer transparency of meaning?

SUSAN JOYNER STUMPF: Yes, many friends have said they require a dictionary or thesaurus to read some of my writings, not all of it though.  It just comes out of me that way by no contrived fault of my own.  I read extensively as a child and thus early on developed quite the affinity for an extensive vocabulary well beyond my adolescent years.  I do like to challenge the reader with hidden metaphors and flowery imagery.  However, I can write simpler, though.  It depends on what flows out of me, I guess, lol.  Mood and subject matter dictate the complexity of it.

APRILIA ZANK:  What kind of poems do you write mostly? Do you have recurring themes, or are all your poems unique?

SUSAN JOYNER STUMPF: I guess one recurring theme is Nature and Wildlife (wolves, etc.).  I write of my pets quite often for they are such an inspiration to me, all my dogs, horses and cats.  Also, loss for some reason, as I’ve experienced much of that in my life.  I’ve been considered a “dark poet” by many, but now I lean towards more metaphysical and spiritual type wordage.

APRILIA ZANK:  Do you think your poetry is typically feminine / masculine? If yes, in what way?

SUSAN JOYNER STUMPF: Seriously, I think my poetry is Androgynous.  I don’t lean towards one or the other.  I’ve written in the point of view as a man, as female, through the eyes of a child even when adult, through the eyes of a wolf or horse or dog, so I’m very literary-flexible in that manner.

APRILIA ZANK:  Do you write mostly about yourself, or do you also have an open eye /ear for the issues of the world?

SUSAN JOYNER STUMPF: I most definitely have an “open-eye/ear for the issues of the world.”  I write much on global warming, slaughter of endangered species, and atrocities to Mother Earth and such horrifying subjects to bring awareness to humanity.

APRILIA ZANK:  In what way is your poetry different from that of other poets?

SUSAN JOYNER STUMPF: I’m sure we ALL write straight from the heart and Soul, I know I do.  I search inward when writing, maybe even to the subconscious level, which is more emotional and analytical than cerebral, to be as realistic as possible and yet remain “poetic.”  Sometimes I meditate before I write.

LEYLA IŞIK: What are the main factors to make poetry real poetry?

SUSAN JOYNER STUMPF: Number one:  stay true to yourself.  Challenge yourself too, get out of your comfort zone, experiment with different styles, techniques and formats but always remaining true to yourself.  I think that’s number one important!

LEYLA IŞIK: Do you think imagery is important in poetry? Where does the importance of imagery begin in a poem, where does it end?

SUSAN JOYNER STUMPF: Oh yes, I write with much imagery because it draws a picture in the mind of the reader.  When you describe a sunset or the fear or courage in the eye of a wolf, it becomes “more real and fetching” to whoever happens upon your words and imagery can help bridge the gap between realism and monotony.  The poem should be filled with such descriptive passages that a clear and concise emotion or thought is brought to one’s imagination even if they never experienced what you are writing about.  That’s the beauty of words dripping with imagery.

LEYLA IŞIK:  What are the most used types of poetry in your country?

SUSAN JOYNER STUMPF: Haiku is very popular, as is Pastoral for its power to elicit spurrings of all the senses.  Blank verse like I construct is more common than you would think. Also Limericks; I still read on occasion, believe it or not, different types of Sonnets from time to time.  I’m enthralled many still dive into Epics, these really long-themed writings which I admire the conviction to stick with a poem of such lengthy nature.

LEYLA IŞIK:  What’s important to be a good poet? To write good poems!

SUSAN JOYNER STUMPF: What I’ve discovered over the years of writing is this:  Message is key, as is form/structure of some type; point of view, voice/tone; rhythm and conclusion.  Some type of ending, people don’t care for poetic cliff-hangars, lol, only in the movies.

LEYLA IŞIK:   Who are the most important poets and their main properties nowadays?

SUSAN JOYNER STUMPF: I still love the Classics like Walt Whitman and Lord Byron and too many others to mention.  After all, they were our first exposure to poetry and writing and it never gets old reading them.  I still enjoy my T.S. Eliot and e.e. Cummings, but the earlier Poets will live forever in our hearts.

DEBORAH  BROOKS  LANGFORD:  Understanding poetry begins with visualizing the central images in the poem. What do you see, taste, smell, hear, and feel? What is the imagery of your poetry?

SUSAN JOYNER STUMPF: As I mentioned briefly above, Imagery is all-important for its magic to bring the reader into a sensory experience of tasting, smelling, hearing and feeling.  The power of words is not to be taken lightly.  You can literally bring someone on an imaginative trip via the train of verbiage.  I believe in making the reader “feel” and “think.”  If I’ve done that, my poem is a success!

DEBORAH  BROOKS  LANGFORD:  What is the mood of your poetry? (Or How does it make you feel?)

SUSAN JOYNER STUMPF: Depending upon the nature of my subject matter dictates the “mood.”  If I’m writing about saving Mother-Earth or stop slaughtering wolves, the tone of the poem will be dark and solemn, maybe even angry.  If I write of loss, the mood puts one in a sad place, almost bringing them to the brink of tears and heartbreak.  At the same time, I can write along the lines of bringing the reader UP on a natural high with a softer, more happier poem.  The mood changes with the subject matter of your piece.

DEBORAH  BROOKS  LANGFORD:  In your poetry who is the speaker of the poem? Are you speaking to yourself or to others?

SUSAN JOYNER STUMPF: Like with short stories, I have written in first-person or third-person.  I like to do both, I enjoy different point of views. Often I speak to myself as well as to an audience.

DEBORAH  BROOKS  LANGFORD:  What is the message of your poetry?  What messages do your poetry convey?

SUSAN JOYNER STUMPF: Message is important.  This is not to say that I haven’t written a poem wherein wordplay takes over and no message was meant to be given; it was just a ride into the stream of words put together for how they sound and feel.

DEBORAH  BROOKS  LANGFORD:   Does the internet and social media contribute to the success of your poetry? Is this the reason you write for?

SUSAN JOYNER STUMPF: To the point that I am able to reach a wider audience and share my work with people around the world, so I would venture to say yes, the Internet and Social Media has brought the Poetic World together to experience each other and our different styles of writing.

NILAVRONILL SHOOVRO: Thank you so much dear poet for the interview. We would like to know your personal experience with OPA as a literary web journal. Would you like to share anything more with our readers?

SUSAN JOYNER STUMPF: What a great platform/forum you have developed with OPA; a Haven for Poets to come together and experience one another and even develop long-lasting friendships.  We all learn and grow from each other, so thank you for all you do in giving us a Cyber Space to connect with those we share a commonality of writing.  It’s remarkable to read someone from China or Romania, as I’m sure they are excited to read someone from Little Town USA.  We can touch each other’s lives in such a special way and you have allowed us the time and place to learn, grow and meet new friends across the Globe.  Thank you.


  1. what a wonderful interview.. I am so proud of you being POET OF THE MONTH.. You deserve it..

  2. Congratulations love a beautiful tribute to your fantastic poetry also your helping of other poets Susan you have come from a dark place and now my shining star helping others with their demons also with your beautiful books keep it up Beautiful God bless youxxxxx

  3. Susan, great thoughts you have within. Just simply extreme talent streaming inside your veins, my dear. Thank you for being who you are.