Islander Poets Interview Series – J.L. Wright

We’re excited to introduce our first featured Islander poet to kick-off our month-long series, faculty member J.L. Wright. She began writing poetry as a young girl, publishing her first poem in the local newspaper at age 10. She has since written three poetry collections, Unadoptable Joy, Homeless Joy, and Unsettled Joy.  

In this interview, she spoke about themes present in her three published poetry collections, the origin of poetry and its role as the “voice of the common man,” the importance of persisting during often-grueling submission and rejection cycles when pursuing publication, her plans for establishing a local poetry critique group, and so much more!  

When asked Do you have specific messages or themes in your work? J.L. Wright responded: 

So, I’ve talked about the themes that I’ve published extensively, being unadoptable, foster care, and homelessness. But other themes that I’m interested in is anything I get interested in. In regards to education, in regards to politics…those become themes and fodder for my poetry. 

But it’s something as simple as I love Found Poetry. Found Poetry might be something as I’m driving down Ocean Drive, and I see the title of this street name. And then I see a sign for a motel. And then I see a flower, and I might take those three things together to make a poem. And poetry really just connects real life in whatever format you find it.  

Watch the rest of the interview with J.L. Wright here: