Interview with Aden Thomas


What is a current project you are working on?

I’m currently working with a photographer to fuse some of my published poems into photos so that the finished pieces are neither poetry nor art, but hopefully something both visually and emotionally appealing.

What is the piece of writing advice, good or even bad, that you have received that has impacted you the most?

Jared Smith, the Colorado-based poet who has published for over four decades, gave me some advice I’ll always remember.  He said the process of writing poetry was always a process of discovery.  There’s a certain comfort and freedom in not needing to have a poem figured out as you go.

What are some of the greatest influences upon your writing, whether other writers or outside influences?

William Stafford, Robert Bly, and Mary Oliver are probably the biggest influences on my writing.  Stafford taught me to hold close the ghost of blank verse.  Bly taught me how to connect images.  Oliver taught me how to pull the images through a narrative.  I hope my poetry fuses the three.

How has being raised in Wyoming impacted your work? Is this a common thread through your writing or are these few pieces unique in that way?

Wyoming is a place of wind and open spaces, which seems to find its way into my work through a sense of deep longing.  I’m not sure why, but that longing continues to find its way into my work repeatedly.

Can you recommend one book that you think everyone should read and tell us why? 

Triggering Town by Richard Hugo is a book every poet should read.  Getting off your initiating topic is one of the most important things you can do.  Hugo’s book is a treatise on the subject.