S71 Contributor Interviews: Caroline Wilkinson

Wilkinson PhotoWhat is it about the genre or cross-genre you write in that interests you/draws you in?

I write in many genres, working to find the right one for the given material, which can take several tries. “Lyme Disease” probably found its shape as a poem because the experience it recounts comes out of Romantic poetry. In the first stanza, the speaker finds herself as a piece of food in a nineteenth-century ode.

Also, around the time I began writing this piece, I had been thinking of my correspondence with a poet, Amy King. The two of us were writing to each other about our experiences with illness, and after I recounted a prior bout of Lyme, she asked me if I was OK. (My symptoms had been rather dramatic.) I told her I was better. In fact, maybe my health was stronger as a result since I have taken extremely good care of myself in the wake of my illness. I, however, added that I would never recover in one way. “You will never fully convince me that what I saw during my fevers was not real.” The poem shows why.

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