Friday, April 23, 2021

Poet's Journey: Interview with Kim Hansen (Part 2)

Today, we continue our Q&A with poet Kim Hansen. Quick Kim bio: Kim received her MFA in dance and spends time outdoors every day. Writing, especially poems and letters, is another way she explores the relationship of humans moving in our environments. Kim is a massage therapist and Feldenkrais Practitioner and lives in Boulder, Colorado with her astronomer husband and their translator son. You can view Part 1 of her interview here and connect with her on Facebook here or email her at kim@KimHansen.org.




Why do you do post your poetry daily on Facebook?
Writer Laurie Wagner (teaches Wild Writing classes) offered the Wild Writers a private Facebook page to share our work if we cared to, and she suggested there is something helpful about putting our words out there. I decided to do everything I could to make the most of those 27 days, so I posted my first piece to that Facebook page. I asked myself what would really push me, and I knew I wanted to put it on my own personal page, too. I knew it would challenge my vulnerability, and I wanted to allow that during a pandemic, especially, to see how I was adapting to the world changing around me in such an unprecedented way. If there was ever going to be a time to find who I am without my usual identity as a massage therapist or a Feldenkrais practitioner, it is while I put my practice on hold due to safety protocols.

Somewhere during those early days, I heard that the poet Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer had written and posted every day for years, and that became immediately interesting to me. I love practices: daily walking, sitting meditation, regular Awareness Through Movement lessons, and just ordinary rituals that remind me what I am doing here, so this appealed to me as a way to stretch myself in my writing and to keep myself accountable. I have written every single day since April 15, 2020.

I thought maybe a few people would read once in a while. Now, especially after a local tragedy, a mass shooting in my neighborhood grocery store here in Boulder, Colorado on March 22, 2021, I have been getting so many responses from people who have found solace or some kind of outlet for themselves with my words and have asked if they can share my poems with others they think might benefit. I never expected that. It feels good to have something to offer to my community. There is something special about the potency of the poetic form that seems immediate to these times.

I ended my daily open posting on April 15th to shift my focus to cleaning up what I have already written. I don’t seem to have the ability to do both at the same time. I am considering doing some kind of weekly sharing, but I don’t yet know what that will look like. I hope to create a small collection of my stronger pieces for self-publishing, but I have no experience of what that looks like or how to do it. It will take some more stretching for me.

Does any of your work appear outside of Facebook?
I am working on that! I had one poem published in Tiferet this year, and I recently sent in a collection of poems to The Sun magazine for consideration. A writer from Arizona asked if she could submit one of my poems about Comet Neowise to The New York Times, which thrilled me even though they never accepted it.

Some of your favorite poets?
I started with the Beats: Jack Kerouac, Gary Snyder, Joanne Kyger, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Allen Ginsburg.

In my twenties, while my friend and I were both going through divorces, we found Marge Piercy’s The Moon is Always Female in a box in her basement, and I fell in love with that strong, hard-working female voice and went on to Adrienne Rich and Patti Smith. Wendell Berry was a farmer poet close to my heart and roots. Mary Oliver loved the natural world and snuck wisdom into her work in a particularly powerful way.

There are so many great living poets. I love Alison Luterman, Antler, Jane Hirshfield, Ellen Bass, Maya Stein, Lynn Unger, Naomi Shihab Nye…

Kim's pup Ruby has good taste in books!

One thing I highly recommend is Rattle, an online source for daily poetry delivered right into your inbox (they also have a quarterly paper journal). The Sun Magazine has introduced me to great poets for decades. There are some really good collections out there with a variety of poets so you can meet some new voices. I like Healing the Divide: Poems of Kindness and Connection and The Poetry of Presence for starters. 
 


Interview by Ann Parker

3 comments :

  1. Congratulations on your Tiferet poem! What's the title of your piece?
    The "Wild Writing" sessions sound fascinating... I found this link to her "27 Wilder Days" for $49 ... sounds like a great deal! Here's the link for anyone interested: https://27powers.org/27-wild-days/
    I miss seeing your daily poem-postings on Facebook, but am looking forward to seeing your collection come into being. Wishing you the best on your word-travels, Kim!

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  2. The way you're getting your poems out to the public is both intriguing and inspiring. You've given this lifelong introvert considerable food for thought. For some reason, the name Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer is quite familiar. Either I met her several years ago, or she was the object of discussion at a writers group or poetry reading. Intimidating as it sounds now, I have presented my poems at readings in the past.
    This has been a fabulous 2-part series, Ann. Thank you so much for introducing me to Kim Hansen.
    P.S. You've trained Ruby well, Kim :-)

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  3. I so enjoyed both parts of this interview Kim, and reading your poetry through this past year has sent the tendrils of inspiration creeping often into my bones, bloodstream, brain matter. I admire your discipline, which I myself lack, and treasure both the qualities we share and the ones we don't. I've resubscribed to Rattle - thanks for the tip. I can't wait to see how this new layer of skin you are growing will take its seasoned shape!

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