Behind the Words: Leigh Anne Hornfeldt

Posted by on Aug 22, 2014 in Uncategorized | 1 comment

Leigh Anne Hornfeldt

Leigh Anne Hornfeldt is an accomplished poet, whose melodic style has graced several publications, including the inaugural issue of Spry. Her poem, “Strays,” is an incredibly imagistic and layered work that displays her depth as both a poet and a human being. Leigh Anne also runs Two of Cups Press and brings this distinctive perspective to her editorial work as well. We hope you’ll enjoy her incredibly insightful interview as much as we did. 


Stephanie: Your poem “Strays,” published in the first issue of Spry, is so heavily imagistic and visceral. Do you have a process in how you channel those images or does it come in a more organic way?

Leigh Anne: I wish I had a process! It would make writing much easier. Instead it’s more like an assault of images & lines & slant rhymes that play around in my head until their relationships begin to make some kind of sense. I suppose that’s organic. It’s definitely messy.


There’s also a very distinct structure in “Strays” with the four distinct sections and the way they work together. How do you approach the structure in your poetry?

Typically when I draft a poem I begin writing in a straightforward, free association, almost prose-like form. Then, after the words have had time to sit & ferment, I go back and look at what the poem is about – because often the poem I end up with isn’t the one I intended to write. Once I know what I want to say, I edit based on theme & tone. Structure is just one of many tools a writer has. In ‘Strays,’ each vignette stands alone but also plays musically off the other pieces (at least I hope!). They serve to highlight each moment as a singularity, the contrasts, before ultimately revealing universality of the four parts.


Do you have a creative routine when it comes to writing poetry?

I do have a routine, though I’m not the most disciplined, so sticking to it is the most challenging part of writing for me. I find that I draft best in the morning when I’m looser and more receptive to undulations around me. I edit better in the evening, after I’ve had time to let the day make an impression on me and I can mine all the details I’ve witnessed for my poems. And always reading– I try to read poetry throughout the day to keep me inspired & thinking.

 Where do you find inspiration for your work outside of reading and writing?

Definitely relationships. And not just between people. I’m interested in how every little thing affects every other little thing. It amazes me. Think Butterfly Effect. Then zoom out and think Cosmos.

You also run Two of Cups Press. Has running a press changed or informed your creative process as a poet in any way? How do you find the balance between the two?
You know, the best thing about becoming an editor is that I realized what I thought were placations from other editors aren’t. I get the chance to read a lot of amazing work but unfortunately due to financial & time constraints I have to pass on the majority of it. And some work I appreciate and understand as good solid writing but maybe it doesn’t fit with the project I’m currently invested in. When an editor says “I’ve enjoyed reading your work but it just isn’t a fit, best of luck placing your manuscript elsewhere’—I believe them now. I’d say running my own press has made me more confident – I trust my work more. As far as balancing my creative process & my duties as an editor? Lots of coffee.

Two of Cups press recently published an anthology called Small Batch, a collection of bourbon poetry. Could you tell us a little bit about what inspired such am amazing collection to come to fruition?
My dear friend Teneice Durrant (with whom I co-edited the book) and I are both bourbon lovers & poets. We were messaging one evening after a night of bourbon & poetry and she said ‘I feel like I’ve got bourbon for blood.’ I told her that’d make a great name for a band and she said, ‘No, that’d be a great name for an anthology!’ So we went with it – why not? BOURBON FOR BLOOD was our working title in the beginning. We put out calls that we were seeking poems which referenced bourbon in some way. We didn’t want to be too limiting in that the poems had to be ABOUT bourbon. Then, we waited. Neither of us knew what to expect. I guess I thought we’d get a handful of submissions and the project would stall at the gate. We were blown away by the response – hundreds of submissions & amazing quality of work. I’m thankful that SMALL BATCH was the first book I edited. That project gave me a lot of confidence and hope for future projects.


Stephanie Harper received her Masters of Fine Arts in Creative Writing at Fairfield University with an emphasis in fiction in July 2012. Her work can be found in The Montreal Review, Poetry Quarterly, Midwest Literary Magazine, and Haiku Journal. She served as Fiction Co-Editor for Mason’s Road Literary Journal. She lives in Denver, CO. 

1 Comment

  1. Substantive questions and substantive responses: thank you, gentlefolk. I have learned something from this article.

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