We at NEAT are very happy to launch Mara Vulgamore into the literary world. Her publications in this magazine are the first publications of Mara as a poet and I personally enjoyed the complexity and realness in her poetry. I can very much see how Mara draws from life for her inspiration and I can’t wait to see what comes next for her.
Meet Mara Vulgamore.
Bio: Mara is a senior Philosophy major at Kenyon College, and just graduated in May. She teaches both yoga and dance in her community. In her creative pursuits she attempts to capture those aspects of life which otherwise go unnoticed.
Poetry: “The Birds,” “About Elizabeth,” and “Flunitrazepam”
What would you say is your greatest inspiration?
The source of my inspiration can be boiled down, quite literally, to the minutia of everyday life. I am particularly captivated by the ways in which the finest detail of any given moment influences the entirety of a much larger experience. For example, the way sunlight filters through tree leaves creates a playful mood, or the way a friend laughs at a joke slightly before he should conjures more giggles than the joke itself. These details are captivating to me, often spurring other memories of events, people, or feelings which beg to be written down. The world and our interactions with it are infinitely complex.
What sort of process do you have for your writing? (Late at night? Early morning? On the computer? Handwritten? Anything you can tell me about your process is welcomed! Including any bad habits.)
Lately my process is almost entirely dependent on whims. When an inspirational moment occurs, I do my best to drop everything for it (which sometimes means neglecting the plans I’ve made, the lectures I’m in, etc.). I carry my notebook and my Parker 51 fountain pen named Siegfried with me everywhere. I also have a tendency to start one notebook before the first is filled, resulting in shelf full of unfinished notebooks waiting to be claimed and finished years later. My scattered behavior used to annoy me, but now I think of every notebook as a portal between past and present. It creates for an interesting exercise in time and self-reflection.
Who is your favorite poet and why?
I’m not sure I have an absolute favorite poet, but to name a few: Bukowski taught me to write what I wanted to write no matter how ridiculous and irreverent it might seem to someone else, Billy Collins taught me that playing into my natural inclination to extract huge concepts from tiny moments is perfectly acceptable, and Carl Phillips taught me that there can never be enough mystery, enough madness in a poem.
Top three songs on your playlist.
1. “Let Down” by Radiohead
2. “Sun in My Mouth” by Björk
3. “Wandering Star” by Portishead
As far as madness goes, what are you crazy about or obsessing over right now? And why?
I’m entirely taken with Patrick Rothfuss’ series The Kingkiller Chronicles of which I’m currently reading the second book, Wise Man’s Fear. Three of the most important people in my life have read and loved the yet unfinished series, two of whom I met halfway through my reading of the first book. Fate seems to be telling me to read them, and Patrick Rothfuss is a brilliant writer, so it’s easy to obey the calling. I’d recommend them to anyone looking to be taken up in a journey of unforgettable fantasy.
Describe your writing style in one word.
What is your favorite quote?
“‘After all, what is every man?’ he talked on; ‘a horde of ghosts–like a Chinese nest of boxes– oaks that were acorns that were oaks. Death lies behind us, not in front–in our ancestors, back and back, until–‘”
-From The Return By Walter de la Mare
Where can readers go to discover more of your work?
This is the first place I’ve been published, but who knows what the future will hold. Stay tuned!