Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Interview With Jenn Grosso

Welcome to The Women Behind The Poetry, where we interview women from the 'Journey of The Heart: Women's Spiritual Poetry Project'!  

Today we introduce you to the very creative and curious Jenn Grosso, who travels between her two homes in Ontario, Canada and Connecticut.

When and how did you first begin writing poetry?

I can’t remember exactly at what age I first started writing poetry, but I can say that I really got much more into it in the 7th grade. That year, my English teacher encouraged the class to write a little bit every day in a writing journal and the poem format had always really appealed to me, so I mostly wrote poems. He encouraged me with my writing and from then on poetry writing and daily journaling became a habit and a way to express myself. 

Which subjects are easiest for you to write poems on?

When writing a poem, I don’t really think about a theme or particular subject. I mostly follow an emotion and just let the words pour out.

Which subjects are the hardest for you to write about?

I would say that setting myself a subject to write about would be the hardest, it doesn’t flow the same when I try to force it.

When do you feel most inspired to write poetry?

I mostly feel moved to write poetry when I’m overwhelmed with emotions. This doesn’t always mean negative emotions, although most of my poems were written when I was dealing with difficult emotions, I’ve also written poems when I was in such awe of nature and life. Writing poetry becomes my way of sorting through my feelings, processing them and understanding it all better.

What is your biggest fear or hesitation when deciding to share a poem with the public?

I don’t really have any fears with sharing my poems or writing with the public. I strongly believe that we can all relate to each other through our experiences, however vulnerable they can make us feel in sharing them. I’ve never been ashamed of my messy emotions; we all have them and can embrace our healing through sharing these glimpses of ourselves.

What is the most profound thing you have learned from writing poems?

Since I write most of my poems when I’m processing difficult emotions, the biggest lesson I’ve learnt is that any emotion, however strong and overpowering in that moment, will pass. For me this is very comforting, and I remind myself of this fact when I’m battling whatever freak out that is happening inside. Going through older poems, I can reread some of my struggles and I know that shortly after that whatever I was struggling with passed. Or at least the intensity of it passes and by writing through it I shed light in my dark corners.

How is writing poetry a spiritual process for you?

Writing poetry is most definitely a spiritual process and is very cathartic in my experience. Writing poetry helps me to sort through the confusion of emotions and allows me to lay all of it outside my own head. From this practice I better understand myself and how to weather the storms in my mind.

Where do you find your inspiration for your poetry?

For me inspiration for my poetry comes from what’s around me. On the outside of myself, nature inspires me tremendously. Understanding our natural world and how we are all connected is a constant source of awe and inspiration. Taking a walk in nature, a hike or sitting by the river gives me space and stillness inside to find the right words. While on the inside, the whole plethora of human emotions drives me to place these outside of myself on the written page so I can better “see” them. As far as other poets and poetesses who inspire me, Mary Oliver and David Whyte are two of my favorites.

What effect does reading the poems of others have on you?

Reading poetry is very healing for me. I’m not quite sure what it is exactly, but the emotions and passion conveyed in a poem, painting a picture through carefully chosen words really strikes a chord inside my heart. My favorite poems are like little healing talismans that I reread often.

How did you first discover Journey of The Heart?

I first discovered Journey of The Heart through a friend on Facebook who had contributed a poem and thought that it was a really awesome place to share my words. Catherine has done an amazing job of creating such a safe and beautiful place to do so.

Have you publically shared your poetry before doing so via this project?

I have publicly shared my poetry before doing so on the Journey of The Heart. As a teenager, I would create little zines where I included some of my poems and art, and traded those with others who did the same. Once the internet became a thing, I’ve since shared my poetry, writing and art on a personal blog. There have been a few different incarnations of that blog, but currently it’s over at perilsoftheliving.com.

What has been your general experience of sharing your poetry on Journey of The Heart?

Sharing my poetry on Journey of The Heart has been an amazing experience, what a beautiful community! Thank you so much Catherine for taking such loving care of our words and gathering together such powerful voices.

Jenn Grosso hails from a far and distant land impervious to the mundane and the conventional. Her eclectic interests always begin with an overwhelming curiosity, which catapults her into fanatical investigations and explorations. A lover of all creative mediums, she focuses most of her time on writing, painting/mixed media, yoga, meditation and picture taking. Jenn holds BAs in Psychology and Comparative Religion. She continuously thrives on furthering her understanding of the mind-body-spirit connection. With a penchant for all things beautifully extraordinary, Jenn recognizes the importance of honoring her shadow self, which in turn, creates a healthy respect for what lingers in its dark corners. Shamelessly wearing her heart on her sleeve, Jenn can typically be found with a book in hand, mala around her neck, and skipping to the beat of her own drum. Connect with Jenn on her blog' Perils of The Living', Facebook and Twitter. To view more of her photographic art, click here. 


~If you are one of the poetesses from 'Journey of the Heart', and would like to appear in this blog, just click here to request an interview. We are excited to learn more about you!~

~If you write poetry and would like to share it on 'Journey of The Heart', click here for submission guidelines. And thank you for your interest!~ 

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