A Conversation with Vanessa Maki

Congratulations on press ctrl – alt – delete. You’ve taken a unique approach to this chapbook. How did the idea come about?

VM: Thank you so much! This idea wasn’t my original idea for a chapbook. I actually cycled through a fair amount of ideas. But after some consideration I went with this one and it felt right.

What is your creative process?

VM: Most of the time I find a quiet spot, put on some music either out loud or I listen through some earphones then I write.

Who has been the greatest influence on your work and why?

VM: Listing one singular person is difficult sometimes because for some it’s more than one person. I happen to be one of those people who has multiple influences. One person I will mention is Ntozake Shange.

Through your work as both a writer and an editor, it is evident that you are a supporter of small indie press. I’m interested to hear your thoughts on the significance these small indie presses have on the arts community.

VM: Small indie presses are quite literally the future of the literary community. Whether it’s online or otherwise. We collectively need to support small lit journals, mags & presses because often times they are aiming for diversity. And not only that but they are genuine in their aim for diversity, where as bigger names often want the brownie points.

What is your greatest challenge when writing and how do you overcome it?

VM: One of my greatest challenges happens to be the most cliche, comparison. I compare until I get discouraged from writing. Not just in poetry but any other writing I partake in (for publication or otherwise.) I can’t exactly say that I’ve overcome it in a sense but I’m trying not to compare myself to others.

So, what’s next for Vanessa Maki?

VM: What’s next is a handful of things such as a horror book that’s put on the shelf for now. Something that will be coming soon is a digital micro chapbook. As for anything else I’m focused on publications, my lit journals & other tidbits.

Vanessa Maki is a writer (& other things) who is queer & full of black girl magic. She has work in various places such as Entropy, Susan/The Journal, Rising Phoenix Press, Sad Girl Review among others & is forthcoming in Sorority Mansion among others. She is founder/editor of yell/shout/scream & rose quartz journal. Her debut chapbook “press ctrl-alt-delete” is available on Payhip. Follow her twitter & visit her site.

Lauren Walsburg is an Australian writer, editor, and artist. She is the Prose Editor of Cauldron Anthology and Minute Magazine. Her debut poetry collection Ink Stained Heart was released in April 2017.

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