Les Femmes Folles

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Alisa Heinzman, poet/editor

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Alisa Heinzman, poet and co-editor of Octopus Books, will be reading at the Petshop Book Exchange May 25 at the Petshop Gallery in Benson (details below). She shares with LFF about her anti-inspirations, feminism, the friendly Omaha writing community and more…

background/from NE?

I was born and raised in Lincoln and went to college there. I lived out of state for a handful of years and am really happy to be back for now. I love Nebraska.


How’d you get into writing?

Writing’s something I’ve enjoyed for as long as I can remember. In the sixth grade I won poetry contest with a rhymed poem about a lighthouse. As a child of the Great Plains I think that at least proves I had an imagination. That’s probably around the time poems in particular started to interest me. I don’t know, though, I think most kids really like rhymes.


tell me about your work, style, inspirations. does feminism play a role in your work?

I write poems. They’d probably be described as prose-y. I am inspired by pretty much everything except for, like, doing my taxes, which is a horrible thing, or returning emails that I’ve inexplicably put off for too long, or scrubbing the shower. Being around people I love makes me feel inspired, being alone definitely does, talking and not talking, reading and not reading, looking out a window. Because I’m a woman, especially a woman who went to college, and have chosen to take a lot of the opportunities available to me because of feminism, I know it’s a part of who I am and is certainly a part of my writing. I’d be hard pressed to point to moments where I overtly discuss these things in poems, but it’s crazy to say that that means it’s not a part of them.


what will you be reading from next week? anything you want to add?

Thank you for asking—I’m so excited about this reading! I’ll be reading with my friends Teal Gardner and Lisa Lux. All three of us have been working on long poems that correspond in a lot of ways, so they had this great idea to create a combined long poem for this reading. So that’s what we’ll all read from, all at once. It’ll be an arranged and edited combination of our three long poems. We’ll ask the audience to read along with us some of the time. It’s going to be fun! Dylan Thaemert—who’s a good poet and organizes readings at Petshop—is organizing a book exchange for this weekend. There are a lot of reasons to come. Also we have a weekly writing group at Petshop, on Sundays at 5pm, open to anyone. We’re on facebook (Omaha Writer’s Group). That has nothing to do with the reading…just wanted to plug it.

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Hear Alisa read May 25, 7:30pm at the Petshop Gallery, 2725 N. 62nd St in Benson for the Petshop Book Exchange. Details here.

Checkout Octopus Books at http://octopusbooks.net/.

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