An Interview with Poet Audrey Howitt

11 Oct


My memory is really going downhill quickly.  I meant to plug this new book by my buddy Mike Friedman last week but forgot.  So let’s do it now….The Carriage Driver: Volume Two….now available on Amazon.  If you love a well-crafted story, this book is filled with them, as is the first volume of the series.  Try it and find out just how correct I am.


“Painting is silent poetry, and poetry is painting that speaks.” Plutarch

I’m not sure I can say it any better than Plutarch.  I don’t think I can describe extraordinary poetry. I just know when I’ve read it.


I am thrilled to offer to you, today, an interview with one of my favorite poets, Audrey Howitt.audrey

Listen, what I know about poetry can be placed inside a thimble…a very small thimble.  I am a novelist with a poets heart, and I have to admit to being jealous of those who write good poetry…so it goes without saying that I am absolutely green with envy with regards to Audrey.  What she accomplishes with a minimum of words astounds me.  Her imagery astounds me.  Her attention to the smallest details of everyday life astounds me.

I am astounded!  LOL

You can find Audrey on her own website/blog, “Alive and Well.”  There you’ll find yourself in a magical world where words have the force of a sledgehammer.


1) What is your main motivation for writing? Put another way, what do you hope to accomplish with your writing?


“I guess I have both internal and external motivations for writing.  About five years ago, I sat down to write a novel, but poetry was what came out. I was surprised actually, because I never  read much poetry before this. But I am a voracious fiction reader.


“As I started reading and writing more poetry, I realized that there was something inside me that was trying to find expression in the world.  I think quite a bit about what it is to be a woman growing older in this society–the things we leave behind and the things we embrace as we age.  This where I start in my writing.  And most of the time, this is where I end as well.  I think of my poems as small works in that way.


“At first I tried to make the writing “pretty” but as I wrote more, I started to take more risks and I felt that what I was writing felt more true to me–I find that it is important to me that I never lie in my writing–that what is on the page is some kind of truth that I need to express.


I also want to touch people emotionally, to move them.  So much of my writing, singing and teaching is really about that. Taking something, pulling it inside of me, making something personal out of it and sharing it with others. Poetry is another way to do that.  I am not sure if that is really an internal or an external motivation, but it is important to me.  In that way, I love people’s comments.  The comments don’t need to praise the piece. It is much more important to me to know that a piece touched something inside a person. “


2) What are your thoughts regarding the marketing of your writing? What has worked well for you? What new avenues of marketing are you considering?


“I am terrible at marketing.  I should be sending pieces out for submission on a regular basis. But I find that at the end of the day, I really enjoy the writing much more than the marketing.  That being said, on my to-do list every week is to find new avenues to place my poetry.  I know so many poets who are published all the time and I think they are just better at this skill than I am.  I really need a course on marketing my work.


“I find that in general, I have days when I feel really creative and days when I feel really practical.  I like to write poetry early, often when I first wake up. Then edit after a few days. On the days when I am feeling very practical I do some marketing, and write articles.


“Right now, I am sending pieces out to literary journals for end of the year publication.


“One of these days, I want to finish a chapbook of poetry and sell it on my poetry blog.”



3) What words of advice would you give to someone just starting out in this business?


“Write. Just do it. Don’t make excuses and don’t wait for your muse to show up.  Your muse will show up if you just keep putting pencil to paper.  I love writing my way through dry spells. It might not be anything that I would publish, but surprising things come out of that process for me.

And sometimes, when I go back and read these snippets, pieces grow out of them. So just write.”


4) If you could start all over again in writing, what one thing would you do differently?


“I would have started younger. When I was a practicing attorney, I wrote all the time, but none of it was particularly creative. It was concise and creative. But I didn’t think I could really write anything else. As it turns out, that writing set the tone for much of my writing today. I still like smaller forms and I dislike it when writing rambles too much.”



5) How do you juggle your personal life with your life as a writer?


“I am afraid I don’t juggle it well.  I sing and teach close to five hours a day six days a week. So writing often takes a back seat. And then I also have legal clients that I write for and that tends to chew up time as well. I tend to write my poetry either early in the day or late at night. Family and pets all get the rest of my time. I have a wonderful husband, two grown children and an older dog.  Without them and their support, I am not sure that I would be writing.”




I am honored to have Audrey spend time with us today.  Read her poetry and you’ll understand why I say that….spend time getting to know her as a person and you’ll also understand why I say that.  This is a quality human being and a superb talent.  Audrey sees life in a way I never have.


You can also find Audrey on HubPages by following this link.




For those interested, the Annual Writer’s Digest Poetry Awards competition is underway.  You still have time to enter, so follow this link for more information.




But never fear, I’ll return next week with more information and thoughts about this crazy craft we all practice. Thanks so much to Audrey, and thanks so much to all of you.



“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”





20 Responses to “An Interview with Poet Audrey Howitt”

  1. Janine Huldie October 11, 2016 at 5:15 pm #

    So happy to see Audrey here today and loved her advice, especially to just write as I keep on plugging away here daily myself. Love knowing I am in great company still! Happy Tuesday now to you both 🙂

    • Billybuc October 11, 2016 at 5:26 pm #

      Janine, I feel the same way about you…I’m in great company! Happy Tuesday and continued thanks!

  2. Audrey Howitt October 11, 2016 at 6:25 pm #

    Thank you Bill! I am humbled

    • Billybuc October 11, 2016 at 9:15 pm #

      It really was my pleasure, Audrey, and I meant everything I said.

  3. Cynthia October 12, 2016 at 11:18 am #

    So awesome! So glad for Audrey’s insights – a poetic heart she has!
    I also love Plutarch’s quote.
    Audrey inspires me to delve into poetry a little more. Gak! I have too many interests. Hehe.

    In any case, wonderful interview! Thank you, Audrey and Big Bro!

    • Billybuc October 12, 2016 at 1:39 pm #

      Thanks Lil Sis! Poetry is such a subjective genre. What attracts some doesn’t attract others, and the reactions are almost visceral about it…but Audrey’s does attract me and I love it!

      You? Too many interests? Nah!!!!! LOL

      • Cynthia October 13, 2016 at 12:58 am #

        Haha, I know! I feel bad for my Juanito. I just have so much fun doing different things. 🙂 My mom started it: when I was a kid, she had me in piano, ice skating, tennis, children’s choir, track and field, alter serving, I LOVED school. 🙂 Hehe…so now it’s become a part of my MO to be interested in so many things. S’all right. Perhaps I’ll figure out how to make them all come together to something that’s cohesive. 😛

      • Billybuc October 13, 2016 at 1:25 am #

        Lil Sis, no matter what you end up as your “calling,” I know you’ll be great at it.

  4. froggy213 October 13, 2016 at 2:51 am #

    Thanks for enlightening us on the life of a great poet Bill. Thank you Audrey.

    It is neat to hear the lives of other writers.

    • Billybuc October 13, 2016 at 2:07 pm #

      I think so too, Greg, and I appreciate you joining me this morning.

  5. Christy B October 13, 2016 at 3:04 am #

    Wonderful to see Audrey here! Her poems are beautiful and I’m glad to reconnect with her blog as I had lost track of the link. Great interview Bill and that book you linked to at the start of the post looks interesting too 🙂

    • Billybuc October 13, 2016 at 2:05 pm #

      Thank you Christy! Audrey is a very gifted human being….her singing….her writing….too many gifts for one person, me thinks! LOL

  6. Sarah Potter Writes October 13, 2016 at 2:01 pm #

    What a lovely inspiring interview 🙂 Blaagh…marketing. Not my favourite thing. I like your attitude, Audrey, just going with your moods. Poetry must be an ideal creative outlet when you are so busy juggling your time. At least you can see the beginning, middle, and end of a piece of work within hours or days, unlike novel-writing. Like you, I have a husband and an oldish dog to keep me going!

    • Billybuc October 13, 2016 at 2:06 pm #

      Great point about poetry, Sarah! I’m a novelist, and my end result comes six months after the beginning. That’s a long time to reach satisfaction. 🙂 Thanks for taking the time to comment.

  7. Dee October 14, 2016 at 9:12 pm #

    I enjoy Audrey’s writing and it is so nice to read about her on your blog today. She is so creative and has so much to share through her poetry.

    • Billybuc October 14, 2016 at 10:43 pm #

      Thank you Dee! I really do think Audrey is a poet genius.

  8. Michael Milec October 15, 2016 at 1:29 am #

    Thank you Bill and Audrey for sharing real life of more successful incentive.

    • Billybuc October 15, 2016 at 3:12 pm #

      Thank you Michael my friend.

  9. Shauna L Bowling October 21, 2016 at 7:27 pm #

    Another wonderful interview, Bill. I find it interesting that Audrey didn’t set out to write poetry but that’s what was inside waiting to be set free. Her honesty is refreshing.

    I love Plutarch’s quote. I read it several times.

    • Billybuc October 22, 2016 at 3:56 pm #

      I know, Sha, right? I found that fascinating about Audrey.

      Well, it’s Saturday, and I’m sure there are critters who need my attention. Have a great weekend, dear friend.

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