BBB: What inspired you to become a writer?
CBJ: I think poets. more perhaps than other artists, are born. Fate taps you on the shoulder. Most serious poets are writing mature poetry and being published n their teens, or even before adolescence. I was writing poetry, like many peers, before I knew what poetry was, and published at twelve. I don't question the gift bestowed. I owe the gift the best craftsmanship and fearlessness I can bring forward.
CBJ: Love Poems was written as an antidote to much contemporary work that is experimental, confessional and abstract, or distanced from the reader by academia. I wanted to set down poetry at the entrance to the heart, but with an awareness that much has changed. Love Poems does not betray the lesbian, transexual or new wave feminist who are redefining the borders of where the heart's openings lie. A great mentor was Anthony Hecht, who won the Pulitzer , and who could, at will, write in a male or female voice. I wrote "Goodnight" in a female persona--afraid of failure- but I was happy with the result. I also included a poem for my son, that defines for many of us, our deepest feelings in our attachment to our children.
BBB: What do you think readers will enjoy most about your poetry?
CBJ: I hope my reader base of everyday, average people will see Love Poems as connective tissue between themselves and their own unspoken feelings. If you win praise from critics and anonymous readers at once, you know at least that you're on a good path.
CBJ: Yes, I'm immersed in my next collection, The Ends Of The Earth, which explores faith. It frightens me, which is how I know it's the right project.
BBB: How can readers connect with you?
CBJ: I'm not on social media, so emails should go to my agent at firstname.lastname@example.org. Readers may not easily connect with me, but my work is always to connect with them.