National Poetry Month Celebration
Shali Nicholas lives and teaches in the San Bernardino mountains of Southern California. She has a degree in English/World Literature and Psychology from Pitzer College, a Master’s in Education from Claremont Graduate University, and an MFA in Creative Writing from Cal State San Bernardino. Her first chapbook, apology for my distractedness, was recently published by Islands for Writers Press. For further reading dates, as well as vegetarian recipes, please visit her website www.sNicholas.net or follow her on Twitter @shalisorange.
Where do you draw your inspiration from to write poetry?
I love capturing a moment, even if it is a tragic one, for the same reason that photo journalists travel to wars, to record I suppose. To shine a light on injustices. And to capture beauty. My inspiration to write really comes from people. People are beautiful, even in their flaws.
What advice do you have for someone that is threatened by poetry?
To someone who is fearful of poetry, I would say, We are poetry. It's inescapable.
What is an interesting fact about you?
While I have been a poet, a teacher, and a mother for many years, I have also been Chuck E. Cheese, a drive-thru cashier at Taco Bell, and a pooper-scooper for The Glory of Christmas at the Crystal Cathedral.
Where are you from/Where do you live?
I grew up in and around the Inland Empire. I currently reside in Lake Arrowhead, Ca.
Who is your favorite poet?
I simply can't choose a favorite poet. I've always loved poetry, but when I read Sharon Olds as an adult, I realized how much power poetry can wield. I also love Bukowski for the same reason- raw honesty is compelling. I don't think I can narrow it down to a single poet; I love different pieces and collections. I love Anne Carson's Autobiography of Red. Some recent reads that I love are: Traci Brimhall, our lady of the ruins; Dan Chelotti, X; Ilya Kaminsky, Dancing in Odessa; Justin Hyde, Down Where the Hummingbird goes to Die, and Matt Cook, The Unreasonable Slug.