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Joris Soeding


First Language(s): German
Second Language(s): English


Joris Soeding’s most recent collections of poetry are After Highland Park (Origami Poems Project, 2021) and Forty (Rinky Dink Press, 2019). Soeding’s writing has appeared in Another Chicago Magazine, Poetry Pacific, and Red River Review. He is a 2021 Pushcart Prize nominee and fifth grade Language Arts teacher in Chicago, where he resides with his wife, son, daughter, and cats.


What was your favorite book as a child?

I loved the Arthur books. It was so exciting to see which hardcover book was released next at the bookstore.

Do you remember the original reason or motivation why you started writing creatively?

When I was six I wrote a short poem to my grandmother about playing in the woods. Yet the poetry truly began several years later, on October 1, 1994, following a breakup. I also began journaling to gather my thoughts and experiences during this time in my life.

What was the most adventurous or thrilling thing you ever did/experienced?

Becoming a father. You can read all you want leading up to the moment of birth. You will hear advice from countless individuals. None of that guidance could sum up the magnitude of those moments in which my son and daughter were born.

Do you listen to music while reading or writing?

I never listen to music while reading. I'm not sure why I hesitate on that pairing. I used to listen to music while writing poems. Typically I would play a CD from Enigma, Delerium, or Claude Debussy, preferably something instrumental. While writing essays in graduate school, I would have the television on in the background, usually a tennis match or two. I no longer write while listening to music. I typically write late in the evening. Most likely I don't listen to music since I would possibly awaken someone in my household. Also, when I prepare to write, I am eager to begin scribing rather than open a laptop and decide on an album to play.


Kayaking the First Bends
Issue Fall '22

Supported by:

Land Steiermark: Kultur, Europa, Außenbeziehungen
U.S. Embassy Vienna
Stadt Graz