interview series

Interview Series – Alexis Fedorjaczenko

Hi, I’m Alexis. I make poem objects and I write in many forms.

When / why did you start writing poetry? – answers in adjectives

Early – I was tearful, awestruck, glum, exploratory, bookish, and passionate!

How do you write a poem? – answer in five verbs.

obsess – discern – do – stew – polish

What is your definition of what experimental poetry is?

I’ve had a difficult time nailing this down – as with defining visual poetry. My working definition is mostly about what succeeds for me. The experimental part is pushing past expectations that poetry will always be black lines of text on a rectangular white page, or that one has to use any certain form (rhyming, confessional, verse, so on). 

I look for the work to also retain some of the things I love in the poetry lineage such as rhythm, sound, and pattern; and leaps with emotional meaning and perception. I am still asking myself whether a piece has to refer to or use language for me to think of it as poetry – I love language, and I have a hard time giving it up, but I like explorations of that boundary especially when they’re done with care and intention.

Have you done many interviews before? Do you find them repetitive? Repetitive? Repetitive?

Not really; this may be the first poetry interview I’ve responded to, and a few others covered topics around my work in health care reform. I’m not bored yet.

What’s a favorite snack you like when poet-ing?

Chex cereal with milk, especially in the middle of the night.

What are you kinda obsessed by?

What is “true” and why do we think so? 

Do you tell your social circle about your poet-ing?

Oh yes. Knowing that I’m a poet is key to understanding me. 

I’m a private person and I don’t share a lot of details about my work, but I’ve always been “out” as a poet in social and professional circles. Many people in my community are artists and I also think it’s um, expected, that one has creative outlets.

How do you rebel?


Tell me a literary / science fact or joke, please.

Emily Dickinson was not the reclusive spinster that our sexist society has mythologized; scholars of her life say that she was funny, ambitious, spirited, and that had close friendships including a long term romance with a female friend.

What’s your fav colour, poet, snack. (this is your pen name!)It’s so awkward to choose favourites, this pen name could end up being quite long! Luckily, I already have a secret pseudonym. 

Bio: Alexis Fedorjaczenko has lived in an old paper mill, spent fifteen months camping the American west, and now makes home on a hilltop in Massachusetts. She holds an MFA from Western CT State University and a Master of Public Health degree from Yale University.Links:
1. My essay poem (and story) Ways To Enter An Abandoned Mill was read aloud on the Alphanumeric poetry podcast! (11 mins to listen)
2. An introduction to my poem objects, as published in RIC Journal
3. Linktree for social media and more – ObjetAutre

By Michelle Moloney King

Artist. Poetish.