An Interview with David J. Kunkel, "Woman Celebrating"


What inspired this poem?

This poem came from a dream my sister had about our parents' dog that was sick and needed to be put down. In the dream, what he wanted for his last meal was Starbucks and a whole rotisserie chicken. That image got stuck in my head, so this was my way of getting it out.

Who are the writers you admire and why?
Right now, my two favorite poets are Tracy K. Smith and Terrance Hayes. Both of them touch on pop music and culture a lot, but their poems still feel huge and ambitious. I spend a lot of my time trying to imitate them.

Where do you find your inspiration?

I get a lot of ideas from trivia. For example, one of my favorite poems that I've written came from the fact that the Giant Tortoise didn't get a scientific name for hundreds of years because sailors thought they were too delicious to bring any home. 

Would you rather have the power of flight or invisibility? And why?

Both, because I don't want to get mistaken for a bird or a plane.