Poet Carey Link talks about books, trees, and wonder
What is your favorite novel?
Annie Dillard’s memoir, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, is one of my favorite books. Dillard reminds the reader to look for the extraordinary in every day living and that life is a continuum of beginnings and endings. One of my many memories of this book occurs when Dillard remembers hiding a penny as a young child, and drawing arrows on the sidewalk for a stranger to find it.
What inspired you to start writing?
My grandmother encouraged my creativity. She died when I was eleven. I started writing poetry to work through the grief and depression that I experienced as a result of her death.
Do you have (or have you ever had) a muse? If so, who/what?
I don’t have a particular muse. In my opinion, creative inspiration can be found through any experience in daily life.
Are there any poems that are especially important to you?
The poems in Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass remind me of how we are all connected to each other and our surroundings.
“To have that feedback reinforces and helps you keep going. That’s my ultimate goal, to share my poetry.”
What is your favorite Alabama plant?
I love the brilliant red maple tree.
Off the top of your head, tell me five words that describe you.
Determined, insightful, curious, genuine, old soul.
Is there any way in which the Alabama Writer’s Conclave has changed or impacted your life?
The AWC community has helped broaden my connection to other Alabama poets and writers. My faith in myself as a poet has been strengthened by the invaluable encouragement and insight of other AWC members.
What are you working on right now?
My poetic sequence, I Walk a Frayed Tightrope Without a Safety Net, about my experience with advanced breast cancer. Poetry has helped to heal my spirit and given me a medium to share my journey with others. I plan to develop my literary sequence into a chapbook.
What is your favorite place in Alabama and why?
My favorite place in Alabama is to be among the trees on Montesano Mountain in Huntsville. I use a wheelchair and have never physically climbed a tree. Climbing trees in my mind gives me peace, freedom, and faith in unlimited possibilities.
As a poet, what do you find yourself needing right now?
Writers should never stop developing their craft. The support and encouragement AWC members give each other is deeply valuable important to me.