Awful Interview: Heather Christle

15 Jul

Heather Christle is not a cowboy. She is many other things. For instance, she  recently proved to be very good at answering your telephone call. Some of her other talents include: wearing bold head-wear, wearing nothing on her head, and most importantly, writing poetry. I am so very glad that she will be reading at Vouched Atlanta’s launch reading. You should be too.

To help promote your poetry collection, The Trees The Trees, you released your phone number on the interwebs so that people could call you hear you read them a poem. So here’s my question: did you ever consider reading them with a foreign accent or an impersonation of some sort? Like, if I called you right now could you read me one as Sam Elliot?

I’m not a very good cowboy. Once at a party in Portland where I only knew a couple people, I pretended to be Russian. It pretty much worked. I don’t think I will try it again.

What inspired you to pretend to be Russian? Have you ever been to Russia? I like the fuzzy hats they wear, you know- Ushankas.

I was inspired by a dress I was wearing, a then-recent purchase from an antique shop. I’ve not been to Russia, though I would love to go. Never enough money. I too love those hats. I’m looking forward to moving back to Massachusetts, where I will once again have the opportunity to wear notable winter hats. My sister has been the custodian of a really excellent one during my tenure in the south. It is the kind of hat that makes people talk to its wearer. We’ve been collecting conversations and comments it has caused:

Comments & Questions

  • You look like a dandelion!  From the back!  A dandelion!
  • You look like an animal walking away from here.
  • What is it made out of?
  • That must keep you warm.
  • You must be sweating when it is 10 degrees outside.
  • That is a great hat by the way.
  • That is a great hat.
  • That is a great hat by the way.
  • I thought you were a snow bear.
  • You look like a macaroon.
  • It’s not that cold out.
  • I used to have a hat like that.
  • We all used to wear hats like that.


  • (a woman seated in a crowed and posh restaurant grabs a pom pom and paws at it like a balloon in the air)


  • A: Nice hat.
  • B: Thanks.
  • A: Can I borrow it tomorrow night?
  • B: No.
  • A: If I give you a free coffee will you give me that hat?
  • B: No.
  • A: Can I touch your hat?
  • B: Ok.
  • A: I have been wanting to do this all night.

Wow, that sounds like it is most certainly a conversation starter. I like the part where the lady pawed the pom-pom at the restaurant. Do wear a thinking-cap while you write your poetry? If you don’t, would you be opposed to wearing one? Would it help?

I like for there to be nothing on my head when I am writing. I even have to pull back my hair. If I am too aware of my head I find it difficult to concentrate.

So what happens in your head when there’s nothing on your head? Where does your inspiration come from?

It depends. I go through phases. When I was writing The Difficult Farm I was inspired by a process of thinking of only one word at a time, getting to constantly surprise myself. With The Trees The Trees it was prepositions that got me going, and some questions about the line. Lately it’s been color and light. My reading is always waking me up to new possibilities, whether I’m reading poetry (Inger Christenson’s Alphabet is very much with me right now), or something else (Richard Dawkins, for instance).

Is there anything you would like to say to the people who are considering coming to the reading on the 24th?

It’s going to be fun. Not indoor-fireworks kind of fun, but still pretty great.

2 Responses to “Awful Interview: Heather Christle”


  1. so what did you do last night? : VouchedATL & some very soppy stuff about Heather Christle « FLOTSAM: A blog of poetry and all sorts - July 25, 2011

    […] Awful Interview: Heather Christle ( […]

  2. [Gallery] Vouched Atlanta launch party | Kill Your Darlings ATL - August 14, 2011

    […] impressive audience turn-out of approximately 80 attendees throughout the night. Readers included: Heather Christle – poet, The Trees The […]

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