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Interview with Diane Wilbon Parks, author of The Wisdom of Blue Apples

Author’s Bio: Diane Wilbon Parks published her second and most recent collection of poems, The Wisdom of Blue Apples, and is one of six PG County Poets whose poems have been highlighted in Bowie and Oxon Hill, Maryland Libraries, Metro Building 3, and College Park Community Center for Dr. Sues’ Book Festival. Diane is also a visual artist and is currently exhibiting her art in Metro Building 3 in Hyattsville, and will be exhibiting her art in Oxon Hill Library, March 2018.  Diane has been a featured poet in Washington DC, VA, and MD. Diane read at a Cultural Academy For Excellence event with gifted musicians and award-winning poets. Diane also celebrated reading and recording for Grace Cavalieri’s "The Poet and The Poem” at the Library of Congress; holds a degree in Information Systems Management and is an U. S. Air Force Veteran.   

DL:     What’s the inspiration for writing your book?
DWP: Everything inspires me to write. As a poet, I hear the world’s heart beat and have to write in cadence with it. There is a lesson waiting on the other side of decisions, experiences, laughter, pain, etc., my most recent book speaks to the wisdom found in the lessons of all life experiences.

I am awakened by what is happening in the world socially, politically, spiritually; I am intrigued by squirrels gathering acorns, the flow of rivers and the rocks that sparkle underneath them, the melting glaciers, birds building nests from borrowed things, and new and old relationships. I am influenced by the stories that we continue to write from the pages of our lives – hence, the writing of the book, The Wisdom of Blue Apples.

DL:     Is there any particular author or book that influenced you in any way either growing up or as an adult?
DWP: I would have to say that there were many authors who I’ve enjoyed reading as I was growing up, but I don’t think that there were any direct influences.  

I still enjoy reading poems from my favorite poets:  Gwendolyn Brooks, Franz Wright, Rita Dove, Nikki Giovanni, Lucille Clifton, and Sonia Sanchez. Each of them found his/her voice in his/her poetry which certainly has been a great influence in having your unique style and distinctive voice.

DL:     How long did it take to write your book?
DWP: The Wisdom of Blue Apples took about two years. Since, I write poetry daily, it was a matter of selecting a variety of poems that deposited a bit of wisdom, a bit of hope, some guidance, laughter, introspection and pain. I wanted the reader to experience life, its lessons and see wisdom and dedication in art of writing, while reading my book.  

DL:     Do you write with an outline, or just let it flow organically?
DWP:  Everything flows organically in my writing, I find truth there. At times, I realize that there is pain from truth, but there is also freedom that lives beyond your truth. I enjoy the surprises of letting my poems write me.

DL:     Do you listen to music when you write? If yes, is there a theme song for this book?
DWP: I cannot write with music. Actually, it has to be completely silent in order for me to write. There are so many whimsical things floating around in my head, I have to be in an isolated space, completely silent and alone when I write. So, there is no music or theme song for my book.

DL:     What are the keys to success in marketing your book(s)?
DWP: I think that you have to be willing to introduce your book everywhere you go. I’ve had successful book launches, was invited to book club meetings to be the featured author, created my own book tour, continuing to accept invites on being a featured Poet, and sharing updates on Facebook.

DL:     What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
DWP: To understand your writing style and be true to it. You will be influenced by others, but your writing will have its own signature that will pave roads and highways only meant for you to walk or drive.

To journal daily and read. Whatever your genre is - research best writers in that category and learn from them. Let those before you teach you the way. But make sure you stay true to what your message is.

DL:     How about sharing an excerpt from The Wisdom of Blue Apples?
DWP: Here are two short poems from my book:


You play inside musical notes

that slip away to have coffee,

then linger at the base of crescendos

like drums leaving tunnels inside me.

The chord of my vein is

traced with legends of you

slanted in prepositional phrases - of love,

crooked like elbows, misplaced on purpose,

hanging out of shelves, and sentences, and me.

There’s an unnatural syncopation of rhythm

that happens when I balance

you over the bridge of London

where thoughts turn into songs.

Why does it rain in my head when I think of you?

My hair becomes long, heavy, wet leaves and

my head, a turntable of droopy love songs.

Your voice coils around the first star and

the most intimate part of my ear –  the drum,

and waits for the base of your voice, then beats, the moon.

There is an eighth note that slips away to dance with you

then quickly turns into a promise and a sheet of music.

I beat the moon at midnight, fetch the north star from the sky,

place it neatly on your pillow and curl inside your ripened notes.


The Puddle

At the root of barbed wire,

all things are convinced of something;

Even the insistent

puddle sleeps with the assuredness

that it will fester into something more than raindrops.

DL:     What’s next for you?
DWP:  Here’s the line-up:

·         I’m completing a Chapbook of Poems.

·        I am currently exhibiting my visual art in Metro Bldg. 3 in Hyattsville, Maryland and   Oxon Hill, Maryland Library.

·         I will continue to read and support Poetry Readings throughout the DMV.

·         The biggest news of all, I will be publishing two children books in 2018.

DL:     Where can readers find out more about you and your book(s)?

·         Facebook: Diane Parks

·         Book Buy Links: www.amazon.com

It’s been a pleasure having you here with us today. I know my readers will enjoy getting to know you and your work.



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