Kat the Shadowstalker
My bloglandia friend
Kathleen "Kat" Mortensen
has published a new book of poems
I am honored to be able to help introduce Kat
and her poetry to those of you
who haven't made her acquaintance thus far.
So you can get to know her,
I posed some questions to her.
Here's the resulting dialogue.
M: What places sing loudest to your heart?
KAT: That's actually a very easy question.
Close to home, my backyard which is filled with daily visitors on foot and wing is a constant source of fulfillment and joy to me. It has been the wellspring of creativity in many instances.
Away from home, I am connected by an invisible thread to a few places in the world. I am palpably moved by any image or film of the countries in the United Kingdom, most strongly by Ireland and Northern Ireland, the home of my father and his ancestors, with its vast green landscape, rolling hills and proximity to the sea.
I have been to England, Scotland and Ireland and felt at home in each of those fine countries. The people are so generous and friendly and know how to enjoy themselves.
In my own country, a piece of my heart resides in the landscape of my mother's homeland, Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia. My memories of summers spent on the Bras d'Or lakes are a repetition of flickering film that I call upon at will.
M: How do the words come and how do you capture them?
KAT: I rarely summon up the words. The words materialize in my mind and I construct them into something that represents my imagination. I don't often have a plan when writing poetry. I usually wake up in the morning, go about what I have to do and, to coin a phrase, a "light bulb" goes off over my head. Sometimes I choose to dim it and let it rest for a while. Other times, I get right to work under its brilliant glow and put pen to paper.
I'm not much of an editor, if I'm honest. Mind you, I tend to work at lines in an immediate fashion, so that they meet my standards from the offset. It's not that I think I'm clever enough to not warrant editing, it's just that I'm such a perfectionist to begin with that the first draft is usually nit-picked to death anyway.
M. How does the writing heal your broken places?
KAT: Like most of us, I've had "broken places" all my life. I didn't have the greatest luck with relationships as a teen or young adult and I find it rather fun to revisit them and say what I was really thinking or expose how it all went. It is a most satisfying form of non-violent revenge.
On a more serious note, my family lived through the horrors of an accident that left my dad with brain-damage that changed him forever, and then he developed Parkinson's disease and dementia over the last 10 years. The advent of his death proved to be a period that was well-served by my poetry. The outlet of poetry while he was ill and I watched his demise, and even after his death, has been my way of coping.
I think no matter what, I try to keep an element of humour in most of my poems. That's just the sort of person I am.
p.s. If you want to order Kat's book,
there's a link on her blog.