Wandering Soul with Coffee: An Interview with Alyssa Trivett

First, please tell me about yourself and your relationship with poetry? What draws you to it and when did you begin to think of yourself as a poet? 

I’ll paraphrase my bio. I’m a wandering soul from the Midwest, and I scrawl lines when I’m not working two jobs. My relationship with poetry started with my love for music lyrics, and from reading poetry. I’m drawn to poetry by the challenge of piecing lines together. I became more of a poet after my first piece was officially published in Fall 2015. In total, I’ve been writing for about thirteen years. Being single also helps with time, I have a little more time to write.. not that I’m looking for a husband right now.

I note a specific diction in your poems. It is a fine sort of terse and yet gives a sense of hurrying along to the next line. Is this something you developed or is it perhaps rooted in your location?

It has developed over time. I spew lines too fast in my head sometimes, so getting them down as quick as I can is necessary.


Do other poets you know have a similar style and approach as you?

I have yet to meet anyone with the same style. To be honest, I think we’re all different….as cliché as that sounds.

Among famous poets, who are you most comfortable with? Is there a poet you just get restless over? Why does that poet inspire so much energy from you?

I read a lot of contemporary poetry; mainly just random poems here and there. Billy Collins is up there.  For famous/classic poets, I’ve read a lot of Plath’s work lately. I’ve always enjoyed Frost and Cummings, but I burned out on Frost years ago. I was trying too hard to mimic the famous poets. I had to realize it was more about developing my own style. The mentioned poets inspire energy from me because I try to keep a puzzle-piece from each poem I read, whether it is a favorite line or a word I find interesting which I can carry with me.

What is your educational background? Has it pushed your writing at all?

I completed my studies and worked in Television Production for a little bit. Let’s just say it wasn’t in the cards. The industry wasn’t steady. I took a few classes in Television Writing also. I used more descriptions instead of dialogue in the scripts. I figured that’s how some of the poetry was born.

What kind of knowledge do you think books convey, and poetry specifically?

I think books convey to us that there is another world aside from the one we live in. Sometimes it’s good to visit another world, even just by reading a few words, regardless if it is ten minutes, or an hour; it is a temporary place for our mind, a breather. It sparks creativity and gets us out of our heads, and away from the mundane things that we do every single day. Poetry books have shown me that there are other ways to view everyday life, mainly by being more observant of my surroundings.


Have you had any experiences that broadened your view of poetry and life?

Yes; mostly dealing with numerous relatives, friends, and pets passing on in my lifetime, and currently, illness (not mine). It put things into perspective and it makes you realize how strong you are. Also, attending more open mics has become a positive influence, and I met two very good friends from poetry; props to them. I also attend a very small poetry group, which I always look forward to.


Do you like other writers besides poets? Who are they? Can a poet learn to hone his/her skill reading other works?

One of my favorite non-poetry books is ‘A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius’ by Dave Eggers. I believe a poet can learn to hone their skills by reading other works. I can’t pin my writing down to one influence. Sometimes it is by things I see, or maybe it is from a quote, or events from my childhood. I’ve also written a few poems as a direct influence from reading poetry books written by friends; two (poems) of which have been published.

Finally, coffee is always present in your poems. Is coffee your Muse?

I wouldn’t say it is a muse, I’ve just always enjoyed it, and it helps kick-start my long work days.