Poetry isn’t a lost art. Just ask Noor Hindi who, at 21, has had her work published in Polaris Literary Magazine, Allegheny Review and Ashbelt. The University of Akron senior also serves as the literary arts editor for Akron’s music, art and culture news publication The Devil Strip.
I met her through Twitter and learned about her newest project, Nervous Poodle Poetry, a website devoted to all things poetic. The project promotes small presses—also a bit of a “lost art” in this era of media conglomerates—and celebrates contemporary poetry with reviews and interviews. Another section of Nervous Poodle Poetry (NPP) includes a list of resources for poets to encourage them and help them get published. So of course, we wanted to talk with her about her vision for the project and her desire to share poetry with the masses!
What got you interested in poetry?
What sparked my interest in poetry was spoken word. I watched a lot of spoken word in high school. Eventually, I started writing my own. Thankfully, I had a wonderful English teacher who encouraged it. I had her for English, Theater, and Creative Writing, and by the end of my junior year of high school, my class had formed our own little group. We were performing at school events, in class and at a local open mic that was lead by a church.
What draws me into poetry is my love of language and the unstoppable power it has. Poets change the world every day, and I don’t mean this lightly. In terms of my blog, I have so much love for the poets I read. I needed an outlet to express this, and somewhere where I could connect and potentially start conversations with people who also love poetry.
Who are your favorite poets, or who has inspired you the most?
Ooooh. That’s a tough one. I’ll name some modern ones. Someone who I really admire/envy is Jamaal May. He has a grasp on language that, to me, is electrifying. I could read his poems at any time. Kaveh Akbaar doesn’t have a poetry collection out yet, but every time one of his poems is published and I read it, I feel it on a really deep level. I can’t quite describe what it is, but his poems are a punch in the gut (in a good way). Sandra Simonds’ poetry changed my entire image of what poetry can and should do. I’m so thankful for The Sonnets. Lastly, Sarah Freligh’s collection Sad Math, I read that collection in an hour, and each poem was better than the last. It was exhilarating, and honestly, to this day, very few collections have topped that feeling.
Tell us more about Nervous Poodle Poetry.
Wow! So NPP is basically my child right now. I’m having so much fun reviewing collections and interviewing my favorite poets. NPP is a poetry blog. Every week, I post a review of a collection I love. It’s been three months, but there’s a great line up of collections and interviews. The blog keeps me reading and engaged with the poetry community when I’m out of school. I’m also learning so much through reading these collections, and writing about them.
One of the many reasons I created NPP is to help people find great poetry collections from today’s voices. I try to review collections that are friendly and accessible to a wide range of people, meaning that anyone can pick up the collection, read it, understand it and love it. Also, if you’re not living next to an indie bookstore, and you’re relying on large bookstores, you’re probably limited to a small shelf of collections from big-name poets of the past. I want NPP to be a quick way people can browse great reads through a small review, and then order a collection from the press itself. Hopefully, this gets poetry collections into the hands of people who don’t typically read poetry, and it also connects them to a press they’ll hopefully order from again in the future.
And what makes poetry so relevant for today?
Creating and being inspired by others is a huge part of existing. No matter the day and age, humans will always crave and need art in their lives because of our need to express ourselves. There will always be space for poetry too. There’s something unique about picking up a poem and falling in love with it. Poetry will never stop speaking to us in ways that are unique from a piece of music, a book, or piece of art.
Do you enjoy reading poetry or write poetry? Tweet us @feather_mag and share your story with us!
(image source: courtesy of Noor Hindi)