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.
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.
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!