AUTHOR INTERVIEW - Lindsay Costello

Reality Hands published Lindsay Costello’s poem KITTEN SEEDS in issue 20

RH: What’s the first piece of literature that you connected with?

LC: Harriet the Spy, around third grade. I created my own spy notebook and spied on everyone in the neighborhood. My mom found the notebook and read all of my youthful judgments about things like weeds, packages being delivered, trash cans, and stray cats. Not sure what this experience says about me.

More recently, I really loved/connected with Averno by Louise Glück, This Woman's Work by Julie Delporte, and My Private Property by Mary Ruefle, all for different reasons. Maybe I've always been attracted to women who observe and interpret.

How do you structure your work? What’s that process like?

For a poem, a line comes to me in a rush, like a whooshing sound, and I stop everything and write it in an iPhone note. I obsess over the note for several weeks afterward. For some reason I really like to type the final poem into a document, take a video of the computer screen with the document open, and use the video as the final work to share with others.

Even though I write/make a lot of different types of things, I always need a sense of immediacy to write. A blinking quality. There's a feeling that I have to wait for, and once it's there I have to catch it and hold on.

Who’s an author who’s really underrated?

Maybe underrated is the wrong word, but—Tove Jansson, who created Moomin, also wrote novels for adults that are damp and snowy and dreary and quiet. I love them, but I hear very little mention of them. The True Deceiver is a good one.

If you could have an interviewer ask you one question, what would it be? And what’s the answer?

This is tough. Maybe something fun, like "what does your writing smell like?" (the answer would be creosote bush and sunscreen), or "what is your writing's zodiac sign?" (the answer is Taurus.)

Lindsay Costello is a multimedia artist, poet, and art writer from Portland, Oregon. She has published two poetry chapbooks, So What if I’m Unfolding? in 2017 and Bloomswelling in 2018. Her poetry can be read in SAND: Berlin's English Literary Journal, SUSAN, Safe Spaces, and Pom Pom. She’s the founder of soft surface, a digital poetry journal, residency, and bookshop.