Matthew Toffolo: What is the theme of your poem?
TAK Erzinger: It is about the loss of human connection. It is also a commentary about how humanity is moving further away from its connection with nature and as we do so we are moving further away from ourselves and our destroying the natural world and in turn ourselves.
2) What motivated you to write this poem?
My poem was inspired by The Washington Post article: The Lonliest Whale in the World, an article about reports from scientists about a male whale that has been swimming alone around the ocean for years singing at 52 hertz. I imagine the whale is a lonely by-stander witnessing the demise of its environment and crying out but no one is hearing his plea.
3) How long have you been writing poetry?
I have been writing poetry since I was in high school however I have only begun writing poetry seriously since the beginning of 2017 after I was diagnosed with an illness.
However when I was 15 years old I summoned the courage to share several of my poems with my high school English teacher. Without me knowing he read them to his senior English class and suddenly all of these students I looked up to were complimenting me on my writing. It was overwhelming. That teacher told me all those years ago, you’re a natural writer. I should have listened to him back then. I am finally listening.
4) If you could have dinner with one person (dead or alive), who would that be?
To be honest with you it would be Mahatma Gandhi because of his belief in non-violent solutions to create change in a society and his love of humanity, animals and nature.
5) What influenced you to submit to have your poetry performed by a professional actor?
I did so because I would like my poetry to be spread to a wider audience in order to provoke, inspire and help the reader in some way to find a connection and bring about change.
6) Do you write other works? scripts? Short Stories? Etc..?
Yes, I write personal essays, short stories and articles.
7) What is your passion in life?
My 5 greatest passions are: writing, nature (the environment), drawing, walking and my husband.
Watch the Poetry Reading:
Performed by Val Cole