Author Interview- Caitlyn Siehl !

Hello everyone ! I am here with another interview today, this time w/ Caitlyn Siehl. She is a poet who I admire so, so much. I had the pleasure of meeting her a few months back, and she is so sweet.

More about Caitlyn: Caitlyn Siehl is a writer and editor from New Jersey who originally gained traction in the literary scene via her poetry blog, which was created in 2011. She is now the author of two bestselling poetry collections; What We Buried and Crybaby. Her fiction has been featured in Hooligan Magazine and is forthcoming in the anthology [Dis]Connected: Volume II. She has also worked as a Managing Editor of Persephone’s Daughters literary magazine, been co-editor of two poetry anthologies (Literary Sexts and Literary Sexts 2), and been a guest poetry judge at L’Éphémère Review.

Caitlyn is currently working on new fiction, several secret poetry projects, and expanding her book Crybaby for it’s re-release as a second edition. ​In her limited free time, she enjoys driving across the country to look at bigger, better trees and listening to D&D podcasts.

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Can you start by introducing yourself and what you do?

Well hi there! My name is Caitlyn Siehl and I’m a writer. I started out posting angsty poetry on Tumblr, and it grew into a huge passion for me. I’m branching out into prose as well, which is exciting for me.

At what age did you start writing poetry, and why did you start?

I started writing poetry when I was 17. I had just started my first year of college and I was feeling very lonely and isolated, so I decided to cry about it on the internet and, guess what? It worked! I met so many people who I’m still friends with today.

What has the publishing process been like for you? What was the hardest part?

I kind of got lucky my first time around. My blog really took off, and after my work had circulated around the internet, I was contacted by a small press and asked to publish a book with them. It was an amazing experience, and one I wouldn’t change for anything. The hardest part was putting the poems in an order that actually told a story. Part of me wanted to just throw a bunch of poems on the paper, but I decided that I wanted them to fit into a larger narrative.

What was the best part?

All of it. Every second. Signing preorders, talking to people who loved it, seeing people get tattoos of my words. I loved all of it.

Are you working on any projects right now, and can you share anything about them with us?

I’m working on a second edition of my second book, “Crybaby,” as well as a secret joint poetry collection with a writer friend of mine. Keep it on the down low! :)

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

I see myself with several poetry books under my belt, and at least one novel out in the world. I have so many projects that I hope come to fruition in the next 5 years.

Where does the inspiration come from? Are most of your poems based on real life or fiction?

The inspiration comes at random times. Sometimes I’ll hear a song or a line from a song and an entire experience that I forgot about will flood back into my head. And it’s definitely a mixture of both real life and fiction. Most of the time it’s easier to tell the truth by talking around it; fictionalizing certain parts so that it’s easier to talk about. Not always, but sometimes.

Who are some of your favorite poets?

Oof, too many to count! A few off the top of my head: Sandra Cisneros, Richard Siken, Margaret Atwood, Bob Hicok, Anne Carson, and Aracelis Girmay.

What are your goals (writing or life wise) for this year?

I’m keeping my goals rather small and attainable this year. I’m trying to put out two collections of poetry and I’m also trying to get my novel started.

Finally, what advice/tips do you have for people who are just starting out with poetry?

It’s hard but it’s worth it. Social media is its own beast and it can be really discouraging when you’re just starting out and trying to make a name for yourself. Be patient. Tell your truth. Take care of yourself. Remember why you started and don’t ever forget it. Keep going.

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Thank you so much Caitlyn! I’m honored that you agreed to do this interview, and I loved all of your answers :)

I have another interview lined up soon, and I’m so excited to share it with you guys, so be sure to come back in two weeks to check that one out!

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Interview w/ Poet Rachel Clift- Poet Series #1 // The Interviews Are Back !

If you’ve been following my blog for long enough, you know that I used to do interviews very frequently- with Youtubers, Bloggers, Authors, Poets, etc.

I miss sharing those because I think that they can be very inspirational, and in my opinion, they’re super interesting! I like to get to know the people I look up to better, and this is one way to do that. If you want to check out more interviews I’ve done, you can find them under the “lifestyle” tab at the top of my site.

I decided that I wanted to do a “poet series” of interviews since I am currently working on my own poetry collection. This is a great way to highlight some poets that I personally love, and hopefully some of you can connect to them as well!

Today I have a poet who I’ve followed on Instagram for a really long time. She is so sweet and such an amazing writer. Let’s go meet her!

First, can you start off by introducing yourself and what you do?

I go by R. Clift, but you can just call me Rachel. I’m a poet, writer, traveller, and storyteller. I’ve been using social media for about a year now as a tool to reach people and hopefully offer some inspiration and a sense of togetherness.

How long have you been writing and why did you start?

I’ve been writing poetry since January of 2017, but I’ve been enchanted by stories since before I could speak. I began writing poetry kind of on a whim, I signed up for a class at my university last minute and ended up with a professor who changed my life. His name was Arthur Smith, he was incredible. He passed away last November. I wish you could’ve met him.

Where do you get the inspiration for your poetry?

It depends on the day, it can be anything from a falling leaf to the loss of a family member. Every poem I write has a backstory and probably about 90% relate directly to a person or event in my life. A part of me wants to start sharing some of the backstories, but I haven’t quite decided how yet.

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What are your plans for your writing this year?

I just announced that my first book will be released this summer! So that’s exciting. More news will be coming soon on that. I have a couple more projects in the works too, but they’re not ready for the light so for now just keep close. One day they will be.

What tips do you have for someone just getting into writing poetry?

Be honest with yourself and your words. Write every day, even if it’s just a to-do list in your journal. If you make it a part of your routine, it will come even more naturally to you. If you get blocked, go experience something new— draw inspiration from that. Find the beauty, the poetry, in the ordinary and mundane. I promise it’s there if you pay attention. As long as you have the courage to put a pen on paper, you’re headed in the right direction.

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Thank you so much to Rachel for taking part in this interview! Make sure you check out her Instagram and give her a follow :) See you next Tuesday!

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poetry collection #4 // Blogmas Day 4

Sooo.

I made a poetry account!

If you’ve been following me for a while, you would know that I love to write poetry, and it’s something that I’ve been doing for a while. I’ve shared my work here in the past, and I will continue to do so from time to time, but I wanted to take it more seriously.

One of my life goals is to publish a book, and more specifically, I would love to publish a poetry collection. I want to work on my craft and actually share the pieces I’m proud of more often.

If you would like to follow it, click here! I will be posting multiple times a week, and it is something I really hope you guys will enjoy.

I tried to be pretty unique with my theme, and so far, I’m loving it! Let me know what you think :)

Here are the first two posts, if you want to get a bit of a sense of what it looks like!

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I hope you guys enjoy these poems and consider following my new account. It would mean so much to me :) Have a beautiful day!

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Poetry Collection #3

and everyday i took a different path,

but somehow

it always led me back

to you.


 

my hands were stained

with white, fluffy clouds,

the fresh, green grass,

and all the memories of you.

 


 

you were the storm

in my clear sunny day.

you were the tsunami

in my salty ocean waves.

yet i let you in

because you were also the air

that i so desperately needed to breathe again.

 

xo, jessica

change | journal excerpts

Change has always been a good thing to me. I have embraced it with open arms every time. I can not even imagine a life where I am stuck with the same routine day after day. I do not want to sit behind a desk and watch my life pass me by. I want a career where I can explore different paths daily and have new adventures. I’m not sure where life will take me just yet, but I hope that it will bring me to change. Because change is the only constant that I want in my life.

//

I keep telling myself that my life won’t really start until I’m older. When I have a real job, and I’m living on my own. But life is short. And I don’t know how long I’ve got. So what am I waiting for? 17 years of precious time have gone by. It is time to go out and make something of myself. Live a little more. While I still can.

//

Her eyes lit up when she talked about it. She was so passionate about the art she created, and she couldn’t get her mind off of it. The happiness she felt when a paintbrush was in her hand was enough to make anyone smile.

– jess

things i still think about

When the sky turns dark, and I am all alone, I still reminisce the days I spent with you. These are the things I still think about.

The way your hands swept over every crater and bump on my face.
How my eyes lit up just by hearing your name.
How happy we were that we would be forever.
Your hand would grip mine with such confidence, and I never wanted you to let go.
You would kiss me goodnight, and tell me how beautiful I am.
The warmth of your breath on my neck was enough to give me goosebumps.
And how minutes apart were too difficult to bear.
How we talked about our plans and thought we had a future.
And my stomach did flips every time you looked at me.
Your touch energized me, all the way to my soul.
All the late conversations we had at night under the stars.
I will always remember the way you made me feel.
I was full of joy and laughter.

But most of all, I think about how forever quickly turned to never.
And goodnight kisses just turned to goodbye.
Oh, how we changed and grew up.
Never finding time for each other anymore.
The way I felt cold without you by my side,
and how I felt like a piece of me was missing without your arm in mine.
Minutes turned to days,
and neither of us thought of stopping by.
The messages stopped coming, and I stopped checking my phone.
My eyes were dull, and my heart felt so, so empty.
How naive and foolish we were to think that we had forever.
But there was nothing we could have done differently.
Because the universe had a plan, and we were not meant to be.

So when the sun comes up, I brush away the tears, and I forget about the nights I spent with you.

But forgetting is hard to do.

 

*This is all a work of fiction, I promise it has nothing to do with my life. It is just a little poem I wrote after reading a book, haha,*

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Featured Art

There are so many talented people in the world. Thanks to social media, I get to discover these artists, and now I want to share them with you. Here are some amazing pieces of art from some wonderful people. Be sure to check them out. Also, if you want to be featured next, email me (kissesfromjess@gmail.com) with your artwork-anything from watercolor paintings, digital art, poetry, writing, etc.

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By Jemima Reeve– check out the rest of this poem on Jemima’s blog. 

 

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By Matenia Altikatis 

 

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(Also) By Julia Jelinek 

Poetry Collection #1

I have been writing poetry since the 6th grade, when my English teacher introduced some of her favorite poets to the class. It is a great form of expression for me, and something that allows me to be creative. It is not great by any means, but I have been holding it in for so long that I decided it is time to share.

Here is my first collection of published poetry, a Collection of Heartbreak. This is one that I shared with Kinga from Kingajpg, who is a part of The Restless Times with me! Check out her blog for more poetry. The Restless Times is a newspaper whose message is to spread awareness on important topics, and give teens a voice. If you are interested in contributing, please check out the site and the Instagram page! 

Anyways, here is my poetry! Please feel free to give me feedback in the comments. Always welcome and appreciated :)

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Xo, Jessica