Interview with Lisa Stice, whose poem ‘When In Difficult Country’ can be found in Issue One of Into The Void.
Why do you write and what do you hope to achieve in doing it?
I write because it opens a conversation that needs to be started. So many fears, emotions, thoughts are held within and can lead to feelings and isolation. Once the conversation starts, others enter into it, and we realize we really aren’t alone.
What are the major themes found in your work, and why?
For a long time, I avoided writing about my life as a military spouse. The death of a friend and how that death was not addressed motivated me to speak what I’ve kept inside for years. Many of my poems deal with the often awkward meeting of civilian and military because that’s my world as someone who is married to an active duty officer. It’s almost like living on the border of two lives that are often at odds with each other. My poems address that conflict and the frustrations, fears, strength, and pride that arise from it.
Why is literature important?
Literature and art both draw from our most basic motivations and impulses. Regardless of time, place or culture, it’s where we connect with the human condition.
What are some of your favorite writers?
I have a writer crush on Ciaran Carson. I admire how he manipulates language and how he shows how language is what gives an individual and a culture strength. I also love Dostoyevsky, Wislawa Szymborska, Truman Capote, and Fred Marchant.
What’s your favourite piece in Issue One?
Of the written pieces, I think I like ‘In Sepia’ by Vincent Steed the most. Of the art pieces, my favourite is ‘Rockpools’ by Britta Stephen.
Where else can we can find your work?
What’s on the horizon for you with your writing?
I have written a new collection of poems. ‘When in Difficult Country’ is part of that manuscript. It’s inspired by how our latest PCS (Permanent Change of Station: military mandated move) impacted our toddler daughter. The manuscript deals with the confrontations between the normal changes of childhood and the imposed changes of military life. In the meantime, I am submitting individual poems from the manuscript and working on editing poems that are not quite there yet.