We offer our first and exclusive Q&A Interview with Beth Tremaglio, a writer whose multiple literary works have been featured on our Spillwords pages as well as being Author of the Month of July, 2016.
Beth Tremaglio is a writer in touch with the struggles and suffering of those around her. A writer of great sensitivity and compassion which are evident in every one of her literary pieces.
Please tell us a little about yourself and your background?
Parents, Larry and Joan. Siblings, Dean and Tina. Middle class family. I had spent my early years of education working with a teacher of special education, she had worked to help me make breakthroughs regarding my learning disability. I had also spent time at Sylvan Learning Center both during school and after high school. The forming of words through verbal expression, has always been and still is very difficult. I had always fallen behind with reading skills, for some reason poetry and essay readings always came very easy to me. Early on I had played soccer for years, local team and local travel team, played through high school. I began rock climbing at the age 35, one sport that seems to give me clarity and truly take me off the beaten path.
Has climbing impacted the essence of your writing? If yes, how so?
Climbing has impacted my writing greatly. There are times when I’ll sit after a climb and see nature; nature seems to carry this rhythmic flow of words. I can see words rest upon trees, flowers and paths that seem to open themselves up to me, this flow of language begins. When I feel cluttered from the day to day, I return to the mountains for a refresh of words and breathe in nature’s art and poetry. It is as if I meet poetry on nature’s path, and the imagery reflects itself on a rock.
What inspires you to write?
What inspires me to write most, the struggles of others, their strength to continue. Social injustices. The day to day toils of real people. Listening to people talk of hopelessness and ever striving to find hope where none should exist. Stories that need awareness brought to them.
When did you realize you wanted to write?
I realized I had to wanted to write at a younger age but due to my inability to form complete sentences on paper, I had pushed it aside. Returning to climbing after a 6 yr absence is truly when writing seemed to find me, words seemed to be waiting on forgotten paths, on a rock. I meet poetry’s flow, and all the work throughout school and the Sylvan Learning Center seemed to release itself and this flow of words and rhythms began. It has continued and I dare not disrupt it. I let words find me, peer into their core and flow with their meanings, fit them into another’s story of struggle and give them a voice.
Tell us a little bit about your writing process?
I carry a small journal with me, sometimes waiting for one word to open itself up to me. For some reason I write best sitting on the floor or outside in complete silence expect for the birds. Pen to paper is where all my stories begin. I love the feel of a pen hitting paper and letting ink flow. I then transfer the writings, the final draft onto an iPad. In the mornings I listen to audible poetry, and that flow follows me throughout the day and sometimes into the night. My poem, “The Poet” was written at 4am. I have a certain brand of pen I use only for writing. When buying a journal, I’ll pick several up and the one that has that right feel to it, I buy and it usually lasts about a week. My process in some ways varies. Sometimes I seek inspirations, at other times inspiration finds me and everything flows, but my brand of pen is always the same. Journals differ but it all begins with a blank page, listening to audible poetry in the morning is a given and my mind is always seeking words and the world that rests within them.
What would you say is most fulfilling about writing?
What fulfills me most about writing is the flow of expression from pen to paper that I have a difficult time with verbally. Giving another person’s story a voice to express themselves, their struggles and words of rhythms that many sway to. To hear them say: “Thank you for hearing me and finding my voice”.
Does the addition of imagery help to tell your story?
Imagery has always played a part in my writings. At times an image can be a continuance of the story, an additional language. I see imagery as a second expression to someone’s story or to my own that a word can’t fully express.
What do you most enjoy reading?
I most enjoy reading essays, poetry and prose. True to life struggles, for example, Ko Un, who wrote “Ten Thousand Lives.”
Is there a poet or a writer that has influenced you? If so, in what way?
A writer of influence for me is, Ralph Waldo Emerson. I take a copy of his essays with me when I climb, his depth from glancing at nature has always amazed me and has helped to open myself up to the simple gestures a wild flower has to offer. I am currently reading, John Z. Guzlowski’s book “Echoes of Tattered Tongues.” This author is of great influence; his ability to take a painful subject, craft it so well, bring to light awareness, truth to history and an underlying beauty to pain. His ability to create imagery through a single word and bring into a time in history as if you were there on the box car.
What are your ambitions as a writer?
My ambitions as a writer are to bring life to words and to make the pulse of each word felt by the reader. To create imagery with language. Bring awareness when needed, keep each writing real and raw. To leave the reader wondering about the poem days later.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
In ten years I hope to have a self published book. To grow with words and the world they create. Continue telling the stories of others no matter how painful some may be and hope that others see the strength of the human spirit; the will to continue despite what is happening around them. Inspire others to find their poetry, to find their poem.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
It has taken me some time to find my poetry, to find the poem within me, and to let the writer and words have their flow. No matter where you may be in your own life, how far from it you may feel, there’s a poet, a poem inside of you, waiting. I tend to look at life through deeper eyes. I no longer see this as a burden but as a beautiful expression of a heartbeat beneath my sole.
Thank you to everyone who has given me the opportunity to share my work. To spill words and for giving me the chance to share and explore my own self!!