Conversations: An Interview with Madeline Grigg

By Jourden Sanders

Continuing with our trend of interviewing a few of our talented, soon-to-be-published authors, our Editor-in-Chief, Jourden Sander, interviewed poet Madeline Grigg, whose poems “Anyway” and “Standardized Testing” grace the pages of Feminine Inquiry’s inaugural issue.

Jourden: When did you start writing?

Madeline: I’ve been writing stories since I learned how to write, but I don’t think I started writing well until college. I didn’t really write poetry until last semester, when I took a creative writing class. The class required that we kept weekly creative writing journals, and I kept the habit, albeit on a far less regulated basis, now that it’s not for a grade.

Jourden: What inspires you to write?

Madeline: Other stories, mainly. Usually I’ll be reading or watching something and get an overwhelming desire to create something.

I don’t find poetry that frustrating, actually. Maybe I’m doing it wrong, but most of the times when I write poetry, I find myself becoming more and more relaxed.

Jourden: What is your writing process like?

Madeline: It’s haphazard. I write at random times, for random durations. I’ve written a lot of my favorite things very late at night and very early in the morning. Given my hectic schedule as a college student, I’m honestly happy if I write at all on any given day.

Jourden: Where do you enjoy writing? (I, myself, enjoy writing poetry on the bus)

Madeline: I hate when people can look over my shoulder, so unless I’m at my desk at home, I prefer to write in corners, although I’ve become more relaxed about this as I get more comfortable with sharing my work. Other than that, I look for comfy chairs, power outlets, and natural light.

Jourden: Is there any music that inspires you while writing?

Madeline: I like sad-sounding indie hipster stuff and many of NPR’s Tiny Desk Concerts. Sometimes I listen to video game soundtracks, because they aren’t too obtrusive and they are designed to keep the mind engaged. One of my favorites is Animal Crossing, a game I’ve never played. It’s delicate and light-hearted.

Jourden: In what ways does poetry challenge and frustrate you? How do you combat that frustration?

Madeline: I don’t find poetry that frustrating, actually. Maybe I’m doing it wrong, but most of the times when I write poetry, I find myself becoming more and more relaxed. If a poem isn’t happening, I’ll just mess around until something does happen or it’s time to sleep or study. Writing prose, on the other hand, often frustrates me, probably because I struggle to pay attention to a narrative thread and find myself easily bogged down by minute details.

Jourden: After you write a poem, and read the finished piece, how do you feel?

Madeline: If it’s a bad poem, I feel a little restless and a bit disappointed that I wasn’t able to pin down whatever it was I was getting at. If it’s a good poem, I usually feel pretty zen.

Jourden: What are your writing goals moving forward?

Madeline: Right now, I’d just like to keep writing and keep submitting to publications. Adulthood is very chaotic, so I find it’s best to keep my goals and lifestyle adaptable, and to make sure I’m doing things that will either make me happy or challenge me to grow in some way.

Madeline Grigg

Poet, Madeline Grigg


The author

Jourden Sander is the EIC of Feminine Inquiry. She is a writer, editor, tennis player, cosplayer, and anime geek who walks her stubborn corgi. She is a feminist and a fan of hot tea. She vaguely dislikes people who won't use the Oxford comma and finds it difficult to not repetitively use pronouns in a bio. She challenges you to a street race in her Mazda 3. She says hello.

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