Paula Finck interviewed by Maggie Bishop
It started early, when my domineering art mom directed every moment in my scheduled
lifestyle in Baltimore, Maryland. All decisions were made by her..after school scrub steps,before school practice cello, saturdays
travel by trolley to art and music lessons and so on and on. She decided where I would go to college and who I would marry
(one of her friend's son) Even though I was sent to Syracuse University and landed in Philadelphia after marriage I was still
very much my mother's daughter. The Women's Lib movement turned me 180 degrees around away from always doing as I was told,
to doing what I wanted. But what did I want? The ideas pured out of me trampling the worn path of focused scheduled energy.
I became a free spirit and lived happily haphazardly after.
Give us your "elevator speech" about your current writing project. This brings me to the answer
to your first question...my current writing project is" My Ideas" all 5001 from the last 50 years. Some of them I did and
many I did not. Why didn't I do them? Good question. The twists and turns in one's life.
What brought you to Boone, NC?
Coming to Boone was one of those twists that happens in one's life. 3 AM Nov.
14 2007 when my husband fell and fractured his hip in our cabin in Reader, WV (wouldn't that be a great place for a bookstore?)
After the 30 day nursing home experience, my son's family packed us up and brought us to his home in Valle Crucis. We have
been in a rental house since January 2008 looking for a house to buy, or to build neither coming to fruition.
What is the biggest challenge you are facing right now? Even looked into long term rental since it is so pricey
here and the economy so shaky. this is my biggest challenge right now. To move or not to move and where that is the question.
So many pros and cons. I believe I'll be wrong no matter what I do.
How did you get started in writing poetry? On a happier note, I found poetry when I retired from being a
rural high school art generalist (I taught dance, drama and visual arts) I read in the newspaper that Pinsky, poet laureate
was organizing nationwide community poetry readings of your favorite poem. It sounded
like a good idea so I started one at the New Martinsville Public Library. These were published poems read by anyone who wanted
to come once a year to the local gathering. In addition, the coffee house owner told the crowd to come once a month to his
cafe and read their own poems. This started in l998 and is still going on. I was interested in social issues so my poems are
inspired by what is happening to our country and the people.
Who is your favorite poet & why? My favorite poet is Andrienne Rich. I heard her read her poems and
related strongly to her moving words.
Describe your favorite writing/reading spot. My favorite place to write was under the silver maple tree with my old friend Singer who was
a plothound and howled periodically when asleep.
What song from your teen years brings a smile to your face and why? There is an old song which I love ..Moon River. It is so cliche and drippy but I still love
it and of course all you ladies know why! I was not a teenager when this song came into my life but it was BM (before marriage
)and BC (before children).
How many houses have you lived in and which was your favorite and why? I have lived in row houses, apartments, cottages,
city duplexes. farm houses in 10 different cities ..traveled to Mexico, Holland, Belgium, France ,England and New Zealand.
I am blessed with many good times and some good challenges. It is alarming to be older and see the whole picture but I allow
myself time to have fun with the grandchildren.
Do you come from a family of readers and writers? Tell us something about your family's reading habits. The Enoch Pratt Library
was across the street from us in the working class immigrant neighborhood where I was born. This is where I got my love of
reading via books and the wonderful story tellers who came every Saturday. I lived 27 years homesteading
on 100 acres in hill & holler country in WV .We built a Shed, Shop, Chalet and Shit house. We had agriculture..very little
cultural entertainment. Poetry was a connection to others and myself.