Interview with 1/2K Prize Winner: Lindsay Tigue

MICHIGAN CENTRAL DEPOTIR: How did this piece come about?At what point did the length restriction start to factor into your writing?

Tigue: I wrote this piece while in a poetry workshop last year at Iowa State. I’d recently read some prose poems and one of my friends said I ought to try and write one. I heard about the contest after the fact and thought it might work well. The piece happened to already be under the word limit which worked out perfectly! The idea for the content came from a longstanding fascination with the beautifully eerie abandoned Michigan Central Station. In general, I’m obsessed with trains and imagining the heyday of rail travel. I was interested in applying that crumbling rail infrastructure to personal loss and the idea of wanting something to be as it no longer is.

IR: How did you negotiate the relationship between form and content of this piece?

Tigue: I wanted the voice of this piece to sprawl frantically, if that makes sense. I read it aloud a lot while writing it because the pacing and rhythm were really important to me. I wanted the speaker of the poem to seem almost breathless with loss.

IR: How would you assign a genre to this piece?

Tigue: I always considered this a prose poem and it is currently in my poetry manuscript, but the Indiana Review categorized it as fiction. Either way is fine me!

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