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?

Lynne:      Here’s a photo from that reading. 1978

 Yes, it was Second Coming.  Iit surely wasn’t ”how” I read. I am awful at doing them.  I despise doing readings & that was my first one.  I only read for money. It’s painful for me. that would be a better question for Winans.  He had published a poem or two of mine previously in the magazine.  He asked me if I had a manuscript & another poet, Robert Matte, of YELLOW BRICK ROAD, helped me put one together.
Scot:  When or how did you meet Charles Plymell?
Lynne:     I met Plymell, in 1973, in NYC at a party.

 The C.O.S.M.E.P. Conference for that year was being held in NYC. & I was there. Our paths crossed many times over the years & I am in constant awe of his brilliance & warmth. Here’s a photo of  Linda Lerner, Gary Kizer, me charlie & Pam.
Scot:  So what did you learn from Diane Wakoski?
Lynne:     She introduced me to the works of many poets. Diane was a great teacher. I learned so much from her about craft. Most importantly, she was instrumental in helping me to value myself as a person & I left my second marriage at that time. Here’s what she wrote for my first book.
  Lynne Savitt has a wild and tantalizing imagination. her explicit exploration of a woman’s sexuality is refreshing, laced with wit and when really inspired becomes bawdy and lively and generous. I am intrigued with her development. She has the potential of a Charles Bukowski or a young Henry Miller. I’ve been lucky enough to have some really fine words by some really fine poets sent my way. 

Scot:     Sometimes when we were kids, we got “do overs”.  If you had a do over given to you now, what would it be?
Lynne:  Be more prepared to support myself & my children, which would have meant more education.  I stressed the importance of that to my kids above all else definitely not marry.
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6 Responses to “Lynne Savitt–The Rusty Truck Interview”

  1. a fine interview with a fine lady.

  2. “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.”
    That’s exactly what I seek as a lover of poetry.

  3. Annie Menebroker Says:

    Savitt’s words ring as true as her poetry. I have a bias, as I know her not only as a fine poet, but as a friend. She continues to teach me through times I question, and her poems, in turn, teach me by explanation. Good interview, poems, photos!

  4. You just have to start reading below: “It rains water dances…” to realize you’re in the knowing hands of a master/mistress poet. Thanks Rusty Truck for featuring Lynne Savitt.

  5. George Wm. Fisher Says:

    A highly gifted poet & editor & a splendid generous soul! Lynne Savitt is unique in every way, so learning of those who influenced her is especially rewarding. She reminds us to buy poetry books… & let’s rave about the best ones, starting with hers. Let our tributes multiply!!

  6. charles plymell Says:

    She’s always been my pin up poetry queen! Slurp! Slurp! She’s enough to start a riot with fools from Dark Ages. Charles Plymell

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