Alfred Fournier

Pine Row Issue No. 5 Summer 2022 - Featured Poet

When she sings

her mouth in the shape of a prayer

her voice ensnared by kitchen walls

dances nonetheless

while her man’s hands at the downtown plant

repeat assembly line motions

she doesn’t see her child

peering from the doorframe

as she transcends radio waves

her slim body flickering

a mirage across his eyes

Interview with Alfred Fournier

by Pine Row Editorial Board

How did you get started as a poet?

I started writing poetry as a young teen to deal with grief and social anxiety. I wrote off and on for years. I took it up seriously again five or six years back, and began reading contemporary poets.

Favorite quote?

“Trust that forward groping of your own.” —William Stafford

What would you say is your most interesting writing habit?

I write every morning no matter where I am. I’ve done this since reading Natalie Goldberg’s “Writing Down the Bones” in 2018. I don’t worry what I write or how “good” it is. Sometimes I surprise myself.

What book is currently on your bedside table?

There’s a small stack, but David Chorlton’s Selected Poems is on top.

Advice to someone just starting to write poetry?

Read a lot of poetry. The classics are great, but explore what’s being published now. Attend online workshops—many are free. Connect with a writing community. Read what you love. Write what you love.

What inspires you to write?

I believe it’s important to write whether I’m “inspired” or not. Sometimes inspiration doesn’t come. Sometimes it comes when I am 30 minutes into writing. Topics that tend to inspire me most are family and the environment, the natural world.

Alfred Fournier is a writer and community volunteer in Phoenix, Arizona. His poems have appeared in The American Journal of Poetry, Welter, The New Verse News, Hole in the Head Review, Third Wednesday and elsewhere. New work is forthcoming in The Indianapolis Review and Sin Fronteras / Writers Without Borders.