Eckleburg: What drives, inspires, and feeds your artistic work?
Amy Collini: My children are my primary driver, but in unexpected ways. Before I had children, I lived in an ocean of free time without even knowing it! And I never used my free time toward any productive attempts at writing; I dabbled for fifteen years, furiously journaling but never finishing a thing. Children changed everything. Because I stay at home with my boys, who are four years old and six months old, it is now nearly impossible to get time to write…and that has created a delicious urgency and tension for my writing. Don’t get me wrong: there are days when I want to weep in frustration because I can’t even finish a single thought, let alone write half a page. Just today I was standing at the counter scarfing a bowl of cereal for dinner while trying to flip through an issue of Ploughshares as the baby whined at my feet to be nursed and my preschooler was asking me to put a pair of pants on his doll. This is pretty much everyday life here, but somehow, it’s feeding my writing in ways I never anticipated. What a wonderful gift my little people are!
Eckleburg: If you had to arm wrestle a famous writer, poet or artist, either living or dead, who would it be? Why? What would you say to distract your opponent and go for the win?
Amy Collini: I don’t arm wrestle, but I love to thumb wrestle. I would happily thumb wrestle Leo Tolstoy, lose, and then just sit around drinking tea in the garden with him. And if I were forced to choose living writers, Anthony Doerr or Donna Tartt would be excellent runners-up.
Eckleburg: What would you like the world to remember about you and your work?
Amy Collini: I want to be remembered for shining a light on it all: the ugly and the transcendent, the mundane and the divine.
Amy Collini’s work has appeared in or is forthcoming in Indiana Review, Slice, Redivider, Baltimore Review, Isthmus Review, Pithead Chapel, Rappahannock Review and elsewhere. She lives in Columbus, Ohio with her husband and two young sons and is at work on a novel.