Julie Stuckey grew up in Pennsylvannia and graduated from University of Delaware with a degree in Business and concentration in Philosophy. Stuckey’s work has appeared in A Handful of Dust, Apropos Literary Jourmal. River Review, Prairie Wolf Press Review, and many other literary journals and anthologies.
Amoskeag: In Elegy, your narrator is nostalgic and reflective as he/she is brought back to memories revolving another human being and their loss. How did they get to that point in their life? Why do they see the world the way they do?
Julie: This poem was written in response to an assignment for an online course with Carolyn Forche to write an elegy. It reflects my experiences and thoughts surrounding the unexpected death of my father & my inability to have closure.
Amoskeag: Your poem begins with “Spring rolled over once again- but you did not follow.” What made you begin “there” and why?
Julie: The first lines were condensed from this initial thought:
The ritual of spring with its promise of tomorrows
rolled over once again — but you did not follow.
Amoskeag: Did you see the ending coming, or did it suddenly surprise you? How did you prepare for it?
Julie: My poems are usually generated form an initial thought or idea and I never know where that will take me. My inclination is to have a tidy wrap-up or else a surprise ending, but I now try to leave more questions and unknowing.
Amoskeag: Is your character’s view of the world reflective of the way you see the world? Or were you surprised by what they saw and how they felt?
Julie: This is a pastiche of memories and events with my father, so it’s an attempt to layer time and feeling.
Amoskeag: Your poem evokes a sense of sadness, regret, refusal, and to some extent; acceptance. How did you construct the language of the piece? How did you come to hear and record the feelings of your narrator?
Julie: I usually return to the emotional underpinnings of an event or memory to retain the visceral language of that experience.
Amoskeag: What is the significance of the line “your night moans rattling guns which never quieted” in this piece?
Julie: My father participated in WWII in the Battle of the Bulge… the line for me recalls the moans and rattling gun noises he would make sometimes while napping when we were growing up.
Amoskeag: How do you feel when a piece gets accepted and readers that you don’t know are now going to complete the poem that you worked so hard at to shape? What emotions do you want your readers to feel and what do you hope to achieve in your writing?
Julie: I simply put the poems out into the world and am grateful when they resonate in some way with others. I do not aim to manipulate reactions and can be quite surprised at the direction that sometimes takes, although I do strive for universal emotional resonance.
Amoskeag: What’s next for you as a poet/writer?
Julie: Making the time to gather my poems into a full manuscript for publication. I think I may resort to applying forresidencies in order to force myself to take the extended, focused time in order to make that happen!