Lisa B (Lisa Bernstein) answers 7 questions

by | Feb 8, 2024

1. Why are you an author?

As a sensitive person since childhood, I acutely felt my own emotions and dramas as well as those of my family and friends, and even strangers, plus the sensory stimulation of being alive. Growing up in a book-and music-filled household nurtured my own verbal and musical abilities. Plus, as my mother called me just the other day, I was always a “truth meter.” Becoming a poet was inevitable, both a survival strategy and a source of joy.

2. Who inspired your literary inspirations?

Metaphysical poet George Herbert, Emily Dickinson, Adrienne Rich, Charles Simic, W.S. Merwin, Allen Ginsberg

3. What is your writing routine?

I write poetry when I’m inspired: by another writer, by an image, phrase, or sound, and fundamentally, by a charged slice of my experience that is tugging on me unconsciously to be explored, expressed, and transformed.

4. Why did you write this book?

God In Her Ruffled Dress
By Lisa B (Lisa Bernstein)

“God in Her Ruffled Dress” took shape over three decades, a way to explore the interface between body and spirit, human and divine, illness and wellness. Insistent sources of inspiration were my own type 1 diabetes, my work as a jazz singer, my work as a professional psychic (poetry-writing led me to further training in this arena, which in turn fed my poems), and my life as a woman in this era.

5. What were the biggest obstacles in writing this book?

There were no obstacles to writing it, though I’m a believer in trustworthy feedback and then revision. The only obstacles involved finding a publisher!

6. What are the key points of this book?

Well, the titles of the book’s three main sections give clues: “Return to the Body,” “Drum the Beginning of the World,” “Sever the Head,” and “Propagate.” The final poem, “Lisa’s Lord’s Prayers,” also includes imperatives; for instance, from one verse: “Letters of God/in every cell/golden be each stroke./Your power come,/meaning be done/electrically in nerve and spirit./Give us today our act of truth/and forgive our indecision/as we forgive the strong-voiced who stay mute…”

7. Where may we find you online?