Greetings from the Ether,
With the release of Hinnom Magazine Issue 007, we wanted to take a moment to spotlight some of the authors involved in the project. Deborah L. Davitt’s poem “The Dark Wyrm” is an eloquently written cosmic horror poem, one that will likely be ingrained in your thoughts for years to come. Join us as we dive into the crafting of the piece, and what the future has in store for the author.
CP: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? How you came to write dark poetry?
DD: I remain as surprised as anyone else that this is something that I do, to be honest. I’ve incorporated little snatches of poetry here and there in my prose for ages, as a way to develop culture or demonstrate character or evoke mood, but it wasn’t until my first convention in 2015 when someone told me “Hey, there’s a market for speculative poetry out there,” and I went, “Really? Huh. I mean, I suppose I could try writing that,” which led to my first published piece. And the poetry led to prose publications, and the wheel keeps on turning.
CP: “The Dark Wyrm” is a fantastic weird, dark poem. Can you tell us how it came to fruition? What inspired the piece?
DD: I wanted to write something “cosmic horror,” and to me, there’s honestly nothing more genuinely terrifying than the cold, remorseless grip of physics—the concept of the sun swelling up to engulf this planet, ending everything and everyone that’s ever been here on Earth. Translating that to a more speculative vision, I have a long-standing interest in Jormangand and Ouroboros, and the concept of there being leviathans and star-eaters out there isn’t new in science fiction. But the notion that if they *did* do something to say, Alpha Centauri, and then could move faster than light towards us . . . we’d never see our own doom approaching. That marries a real source of dread and terror to a fictional one, and I like to think that adding a little something real to something fictional makes it stronger.
All of which took me longer to explain than it really should have, but it boils down to, “What scares me out in the cosmos? Reality? Well, maybe some other people are, too. Let’s play with that.”
CP: Your poetry has appeared in some great publications. Where exactly do you hope your writing takes you? What goals do you hope to achieve?
DD: It’s going to sound terribly prosaic, but I’d like my self-published novels to reach more people, and would also like to reach more people through traditional publishing. If my poetry also reaches out and touches people, makes them think, or entertains them for a moment, that would also be awesome. As such, I’m currently shopping around a full-length book of my poetry, some previously published, some not, and actively writing yet even more things for people to read.
CP: Do you have any other projects you’re working on? What does the future hold for Deborah L. Davitt?
DD: I’m working on several projects simultaneously, though writing frequently has to take a back seat to taking care of my son. I need to get back to my current novel (which has taken the most hits, time-wise, of any project lately), I’m polishing up a novella which is threatening to turn into another novel, instead, and I have multiple short stories coming out in traditional and non-traditional venues this year. Poetry-wise, I have my eye on a longer, linked series that I want to write . . . the question, as always, is one of time in any given day.
CP: What has been your favorite moment thus far, as a poet?
DD: When people have contacted me out of the blue to tell me that they’ve read something I’ve written and enjoyed it. A couple of times, teachers and professors have reached out to ask me if they can use a piece of mine as an example in class.
All of which have gotten a single, astounded reply in my head, which can be summarized as, “Wow! Someone read my poem?!?” Which I then have to tamp down into an adult, professional, reserved reply, like, “Thank you, that’s most gratifying!”
But the internal response still remains “Wow! Really? You did?”
CP: What writer do you find the most inspiring, living or dead? Why?
DD: I’ve got a few. Poetry, well, I specialized in Renaissance and medieval literature when I was in college and grad school. There are big names there, but some of the medieval literature that I read that influenced me, their names are lost to time. So, big picture, Beowulf and the Anglo-Saxons, Chaucer, Shakespeare, Spenser for poetry, though I obviously write nothing like what they did.
Modern writers? Clive Barker has so much poetry in his writing, so much psychological depth, that it shakes me. Galilee was the book I took with me on my last trip to see my father, as he was dying in the hospital, and somehow, that book has been a strange comfort to me in other times as well. Terry Pratchett (bet you wouldn’t have seen that coming after seeing Barker’s name) again, has amazing and penetrating insight into people and their conditions, and given a choice of what to read on any given night, it’s most likely that I’ll be grabbing a comfy Pratchett off the shelf and settling in. Though in truth, I read a lot more nonfiction these days than I ever used to do.
CP: We always like to end our interviews with a little tidbit of advice for the many readers who are writers themselves. What’s the best advice you could give to a new author?
DD: I always go back to Frank Herbert’s comment that he could never see any qualitative difference in the pages he wrote when he was feeling ‘inspired’ and in a ‘mood to write’ and the stuff he wrote when he was just gutting out pages to meet a deadline. Don’t wait for the ‘mood’ to strike. Just write. It doesn’t matter if it’s good. The first page or so won’t be—that’s getting into the flow of it. You can dispose of the first page later. Just write.
Deborah L. Davitt was raised in Reno, Nevada, but received her MA in English from Penn State. She currently lives in Houston, Texas with her husband and son. Her poetry has received Rhysling and Pushcart nominations and appeared in over twenty journals; her short fiction has appeared in InterGalactic Medicine Show, Compelling Science Fiction, Grievous Angel, and The Fantasist. For more about her work, please see www.edda-earth.com.
Thank you so much for stopping by. Make sure to order your copy of Hinnom Magazine Issue 007 and read Deborah L. Davitt’s weird poem, “The Dark Wyrm.” Check out our Patreon as well for some awesome rewards.