what is your name?
Tammy Foster Brewer (formerly Trendle)
how would you describe what you do?
Mostly, I drive. And when I drive, I listen to music. And when I’m stopped in traffic, I look up through the top of my windshield at the sky. Sometimes, when I do this, I feel like I’m going to be swallowed by tall buildings. When I can find a pen, or sit at a keyboard, I write this all down. And then, poem.
what are you currently working on?
Preparing for a trial at work (I’m a litigation paralegal). Fighting traffic. Lingering a little longer with my husband. Taking a deep breath when my 6-year-old son tells me I’m being angrily. Writing poems in-between.
Also, I have a chapbook out with Verve Bath Press titled, “No Glass Allowed,” and poems in the current issues of Rattle and Stirring.
what has had the greatest influence on your work?
Marriage. Divorce. Re-marriage. Having children. My husband (the poet, Robert Lee Brewer). Music. And always love: the seeking, the loss, the find.
what is the greatest misconception about you or your work?
That poetry is too scholarly or high-brow or that non-poets cannot appreciate or relate to it. Whenever I give a poem to one of my non-poet friends, it’s like giving my son a plate full of vegetables and watching his reaction when he realizes he likes it. Often, people tell me they like my work because it is real and raw. My goal is to make it accessible.
what do you see as the main strengths and weaknesses of the medium you work
Over here is a flower. Over there is something broken on the sidewalk. Inside there is a desk, four walls, a computer. A person without windows.
Poetry is the light between all of these things, and also the dark. Its weakness: the fact that it appears only a few shelves in the bookstore.
how has technology impacted upon the work you do?
Greatly. Online poetry journals give access to more readers. Online forums give writers a chance to workshop and share their work and be a part of an artistic community. Where I’m sitting right now, a thrown shoe would not hit a another poet. But I can virtually poke hundreds of them online.
what’s the greatest piece of advice you would like to pass on?
Never forget you are a poet.
where can we find you online?
You can find my chapbook, sample poems, and a review by Aleathia Drehmer here:
I’m also on facebook as Tammy Foster Brewer. And you can also email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
what are you reading at the moment?
Whatever my 6-year-old son is reading — currently it’s a beginning chapter book called “Sir Fartsalot Hunts The Booger.” Also, lots of Shel Silverstein poems. (I love children’s books!)
I’m also reading “Plus Shipping,” an older book of poems by Bob Hicock (found in a used bookstore over the weekend). And a book of essays by Dana Gioia called “Can Poetry Matter?”
what are you listening to at the moment?
My favorite song right now is “Love Letter to Japan” by The Bird & The Bee
anything else we should know?
See that guy over there, the one who sings along with you in the car, and dances in the dining room after dinner. Who falls asleep with his back to you but wakes up with arms around. Who sometimes has food in his beard and holes in his t-shirt. Don’t ever forget to share the pieces with him, especially the smallest parts.
6 thoughts on “Tammy Foster Brewer”
Your interviews always rock!
I loved the poetry anecdote about the vegetables. It’s won-der-ful to watch the light go on for non-poetry people when they read something they connect to. Isn’t that what it’s all about?
Good interview. Encouraging. Thank you!
another terrific interview!
Great interview! Happy Birthday!
Thanks so much for the comments, everyone! I really appreciate it!
So happy to see you up here! Enjoyed your intoview. Of course, I am a huge fan of your fantastic poetry. Hope that you, Robert and the kids have a wonderful New Year!