Jeff Tigchelaar’s poems have appeared or are forthcoming in journals including Pleiades, LIT, North American Review, The Offending Adam, Flint Hills Review, and The Wallace Stevens Journal, and in anthologies including Best New Poets, Verse Daily, and Prairie Gold: An Anthology of the American Heartland (Ice Cube Press, 2014).
Can you share a moment that has shaped you as a writer (or continues to)?
I once yawned during a keynote address by Salman Rushdie, thinking I was safe in a sea of a thousand faces, but he stared right into my eyes and now he lives in my soul.
What are you reading?
Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and Elizabeth Ellen’s Fast Machine. Also: A Ritual to Read Together: Poems in Conversation with William Stafford, from Woodley Press, edited by Becca J.R. Lachman.
Can you tell us what prompted your poems in HFR?
“There’s This Thing”: I was stopped in my tracks in the Kansas University Library by the artwork I’ve tried to give words to.
“Frontier”: You know how you get in airplanes?
“Strange Dream, or Dale Murphy”: It was the dream!
What’s next? What are you working on?
Some chapbooks: one that lampoons artist statements (it’s called I Am Interested in Beauty); one that channels Robbie “Vanilla Ice” Van Winkle; and one that enumerates my many years as a plasma “donor.”
Also putting the finishing touches on my full-length collection Certain Streets at an Uncertain Hour: The Kansas Papers, coming this year from Woodley Press and spectacularly illustrated (?!) by Lawrence, Kansas artist Charlotte Pemberton.
Take the floor. Be political. Be fanatical. Be anything. What do you want to share?
You’re more beautiful than people give you credit for, Kansas, but sometimes you’re tough to be around.