“I am often asked, who are you reading? Although I make a habit of walking around with books when I am working on a poem, I use the writers more as company, carrying them like an ‘in case of emergency’ policy so I don’t ever feel stuck. This makes it difficult to provide an answer that would satisfy one’s curiosity about my sources of inspiration. It’s also a difficult question to answer because the ‘who’ is often not another writer.
One day, I watched an American Robin tilt its head towards the ground, listening intently for something beneath the dirt. With all the noise in the yard, it was still able to home in on the slithering sounds of a grub or worm embedded in the soil. The experience led me to think about crafting sound on the page and a way for readers to similarly connect to a poem by using auditory cues embedded within the lines. Since every word emanates its own vibration when spoken, a combination of a particular set of words could lead to a completely different reader experience.
This is to say, as a writer, it’s important to make use of every possible resource as inspiration and to engage one’s imagination.”
—Enzo Silon Surin, author of When My Body Was a Clinched Fist (Black Lawrence Press, 2020)