Interview: Lannie Stabile

This week I spoke with Lannie Stabile about her creative process. Lannie is a Detroiter and Finalist for the 2019/2020 Glass Chapbook Series. She is currently penning her second chapbook, as well as a novel. Her work has been previously featured in The Hellebore, Kissing Dynamite, Cauldron Anthology, and more. She serves as the Project Manager at Barren Magazine and as Editor at Knights Library Magazine. She is a member of MMPR Collective.

What is your favorite creative medium?

I tend to write poetry, but I’m no stranger to short stories and abandoned novels.

What do you love about that medium (i.e. why do you create that way)?

Like every other writer out here, I’m stewing in a lot of emotions: anger, shame, doubt, loss, etc. And to be a semi-functional human being, I have to find a way to release these noxious fumes. Poetry just seems like the best conduit.

What in particular makes it a good conduit? Any particular kind of poetry?

Poetry is constantly evolving and being experimented with. Because of this, it can be so many things. It can be a snapshot or a scream. A murmur or a scramble. A misanthropic cave or a beckoning precipice. Depending on how transparent I want the poem to be, conceivably, I can offer the reader as many bricks as we both can carry and still keep my wall intact. On the other hand, I can give them the one brick that will make everything collapse. 

I think the more personal the piece, the better conduit it can be. Even if it’s never meant for consumption, it’s good to get the gunk out. My mom used to write letters to people she was upset with, then burn them. Burn the letters, not the people. Haha. Maybe I get it from her. 

How do you begin your creative process?

Headphones are the key for me. Once those bad boys go on, I get transported to Pen Land.

Where is your favorite place to create and why?

I’m actually most creative at work. Probably because it’s a space where I’m productive for eight or nine hours a day. So, I’ll write on lunch or after hours.

What is your favorite music to create to and why?

Music distracts me when I’m writing. What I’ve found works best is a compilation of rain sounds. It’s loud and droning, so it cancels out anything else going on around me. It’s sort of like hypnosis.

What piece of literature (i.e. CNF, poetry, short story, novel, collection, etc.) set you on fire most recently and why?

Wanda Deglane’s “a little louder this time” (published in Phemme) split me in half. When I got married two and a half years ago, my neighbor literally “congratulated” me by saying, “I don’t understand the whole gay thing, but if you’re happy, I’m happy.” So, when Wanda writes, “if you have to exist, must you do it so loudly,” it’s like hearing my neighbor’s words over and over again. She understands how they’re trying to muffle us.

What literature or art magazines get you excited and why?

Shameless plug alert: I get really excited about Barren Magazine. Our team does such a phenomenal job putting each issue together, and the results are ::chef kiss::

Favorite issue thus far?

Issue Four will always have my heart because it was the first issue I helped curate as a Contributing Editor. However, our current issue, Tinderbox Hymns (Issue Seven) is a monster! I read Barlow Adams’ “Lil Bobby” just this morning and was struck by how lucky I am to be a part of Barren. We have incredible writers entrusting us with incredible works every day.

Where is one place that every person who considers themselves a “creative type” needs to travel to and why?

Oh, I can’t speak for everyone. I think we all have a place that would speak louder to one person than it would to another. But I can tell you, as someone whose poetry is highly influenced by Greek mythology, I would collapse in literary ecstasy if I ever visited Athens.

What myths do you keep returning to in particular?

Icarus and his heliocentric fate is a common recurring theme. The Hydra and Hercules have reared their ugly heads now and then. Also, I have an entire sectional poem devoted to Zeus and how much he sucks.  

What advice would you give to your younger self about the creative process?

Be afraid if you want to, but submit anyway. Get your stuff noticed. When people say you’re talented, believe them. In times of doubt, remember their words. Instead of getting up two hours before school every morning to read, use one of those hours to write. Develop a habit. Save your journals. And don’t let anyone borrow your book of poems. She’s going to lose it.

What are you currently working on?

I’m currently working on a chapbook that explores a personal tie with a convicted Michigan serial killer. Recent publications include: Marias at Sampaguitas, Royal Rose, Kissing Dynamite, Nightingale & Sparrow, Monstering, Honey & Lime, and more. Honey & Lime actually showcases my first ever CNF piece. And just recently I took on the role of editor at Knights Library Magazine. My website is https://lanniepenland.weebly.com

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