Lynne Savitt–The Rusty Truck Interview
Scot: How important are poets today?
Lynne: It depends on what you want poetry to do for you. Poets are not important. Most of them are self important. With good poets, it’s
the voice they bring to a world in need of a consciousness check-up, it’s their experience that touches us in a place inside ourselves
that we recognize. It’s the impetus for change we get from words. It’s the art of expression we wish we’d put on paper ourselves.
What we get from poetry can only come from what we bring to it.
Scot: What poet or poets had or have an influence on your writing or life?
Lynne: Dorothy Parker & Anne Sexton on my writing. On my life, A.D. Winans, who published my first book in 1979, after we did a
reading together. I’ve had great supporters who were writers, now deceased, like William Packard, of THE NEW YORK
QUARTERLY & Patrick Kelly, of Blue Horse Publications, Noel Peattie of Konocti Books & many others.
Scot: What do you remember about your early days of writing?
Lynne: Sitting on a concrete patio, in the suburbs, maybe 8 years old. I would write poems with green crayons & illustrate them.
Scot: What other artistic pursuits do you follow?
Lynne: Photography now, I used to paint. I co-founded & edited Gravida, a literary mag in 1972 which produced 18 issues & I
contributed as an editor to several poetry magazines, including Caprice with James Mechem, and Redstart with Mark Weber.
Scot: When did you first realize you were a poet/artist?
Lynne: I took a couple of poetry workshops with Diane Wakoski when I was in my twenties. It was the first time anyone ever called me
”poet”. It was a description that felt like it fit.
Scot: Name me one poetic legend you know and what gave them that status?
Lynne: Charles Plymell, his words & the way he lives his life speaks for itself. He is an exquisite person.
Scot: What is the greatest tragedy found in poetry today?
Lynne: Any person can be taught to write a poem but vision can’t be taught. Poets should buy & read poetry.
Scot: What are you most proud of?
Lynne: In poetry, the last issue of Gravida, I produced with Gary Kizer, it was on writers in prison & the the writers who helped them
in life, being a single parent & raising 2 kids by myself who’ve turned into well-adjusted wonderful parents. I always told them
that I served as the terrible warning not the good example. It was true & it worked.
Scot: I know you said you read with Winans, what did you read that impressed him enough to publish your first book? Was that with Second Coming?