Jennifer Grotz

Jennifer GrotzJennifer Grotz is the author of poetry collections such as The Needle.

What is your method for overcoming writer’s block?

Reading. Reading carefully twenty to thirty poems by two or three poets is always enough to provoke/inspire me into writing something. It gives me something to mimic or respond to or rage against or love.

What are your favorite or most helpful writing prompts?

My favorite, most reliable writing prompt is simple: list and describe ten images that you encountered already today. The material world, sight, always leads to insight.

What is the most valuable advice you received as a young writer?

The most valuable maxim I've yet received about writing came from Ellen Bryant Voigt, who asserted once to me that one's strength is always one's weakness; and vice versa. That is to say, one's strength can be overused, overplayed, over-indulged poetically, relied on arrogantly, and likewise, one's weakness, that is to say one's eccentricity, is also what makes one's unique, individual, memorable, and vulnerable, all of the things that set the stage for a powerful poem.