An Interview with Gabriela Natalia Valencia, "tuning fork"


Can you discuss the origin of "tuning fork?"

The Boltzmann entropy equation describes the relationship between small state and large state disorder in the universe. This short and elegant equation was discussed in a chemistry lecture I attended last spring, and I was compelled by the image it formeda world unravelling at the sleeves with us still inside. It evoked a softly scientific nostalgia only later put into words. I ended up writing a small note in the margin of my notebook that with time became "tuning fork."

You're on a deserted island with only one poem. Which one is it and why?

I would be stranded with "Dear Suburb," from David Roderick's The Americans simply because it brings me home.

Where do you find your inspiration?

I imagine everywhere as a birthplace. The scent of an orange diffused across the kitchen, a change in temperature, the size of a leaf. The natural world has so much to offer for inspiration, and I typically start there. 

What body of work or poet has been influential for your development as a poet?

In the past, I read mostly formulaic writing with a heavy emphasis on grammar and convention, but I later grew a taste for poets that forewent traditional styles and stretched the idea of what poetry could be. Pablo Neruda's work had a large influence on me when I was younger, but Gertrude Stein stands among my current favorites. In hearing their voices, I have been able to refine my own.