NRM: Tell us a little more about yourself.
Evelyn Benvie: I write poetry so I don’t have to talk about myself. Just kidding. I also think I’m funny, but I’ve been known to be wrong before. I write poetry and prose in my spare time, heavier on the prose right now. I’m currently finishing the first book of a trilogy that’s equal parts fantasy, humor, and philosophy. I’m really excited about it! It’s so different from anything I’ve done before. Even if it goes nowhere and never gets published, just finishing it will have been such a great learning opportunity for me.
NRM: Did you always have a heart for writing?
EB: I’ve been writing since elementary school. Not very well back then, but I think “heart” is a good word to describe it. The words might come from the brain, but the truth of a piece comes from the heart. In that way, I do put myself in my poetry, but not always honestly or fully.
NRM: Can you tell us what influenced you to write? What were your first compositions and struggles during the process?
EB: I started writing when one of my teachers—second or third grade, most likely—told us we had an assignment, and I haven’t really stopped thinking about it since. I wrote these poems specifically based on a series of different ideas: thinking about switching jobs, the oil spills earlier this year, and watching birds out my window. That’s how I usually start a poem. With an idea that builds into a theme or image. Then I build the hook or intro from that idea. Next step is to figure out where I want the poem to go and how I want it to end. The beginning and end are usually the easy part for me. It’s figuring out the bits in the middle I always struggle with. Sometimes I’ll write the first and/or last stanza and then the poem will just sit there for days (or weeks or months) until I figure out what to do with it.