Nymeria Publishing is excited to welcome debut author Rachel Finkle to our family with their new collection, Raspberry Fingers. Prior to the release of Raspberry Fingers, we sat down with Rachel to discuss their new book, their journey with self discovery, and queer poetry.
This collection follows the fluid movement of the author’s thoughts about sexuality. As you dive into this collection you will get a taste of all the questioning, the positive, the negative, and the neutral experiences Rachel has had as they strive to find a better understanding of themselves.
Check out the conversation below and preorder Raspberry Fingers starting August 9th at barnesandnoble.com.
“In all its glory, viridescent pockmark skin burnished by energy of blood
Christmas contrast, apple of green to a body of red.
If they saw it throbbing, thrumming orchard orchestral music
They would want it for every meal.
Then they would want it for every bite.
If only they didn’t bite it blindly in the dark
I’d let them eat it all the time.”
– green apple heart, p. 16
Nymeria Publishing: How did you get started as a writer?
Rachel Finkle: I got started as a writer by being a reader. I loved when my father would tell me stories, and I tore through books immediately and absolutely. When I first moved to Oregon, I spent the summer before school in the library, absorbing words and titles and pages.
I got started in poetry in middle school, for a wonderful language arts teacher. I used poetry throughout high school to cope with all the things I was experiencing and learning.
N: What was the main inspiration for this collection?
R: This collection actually pulls from my earlier work, so mostly high school stuff. I wanted to have a little map of where I went, something that others could compare to their own map. At that time I made self discoveries about sexuality and gender identity, and this is what I was writing while that was happening.
“It’s about the clothes that you dream in,
The swirling current of
Summer tank top scorched shoulders and brown sandal-bottomed feet,
the clothes that accompany you to sleep,
shifting marbles beneath your eyelids that tell me you’re still out there.”
– dreaming girl, p. 4
N: Why do you feel that poetry is a powerful outlet for you to tell your story?
R: To me, poetry’s beauty lies in its versatility. Two words can be a poem. So can an entire book. You can squeeze poetry into different boxes and forms, and this sharpens the words and makes them even more beautiful. Writing freely has its power too, and it’s great for self-expression. This collection in particular has elements similar to journalling, speculation, but spinning it artistically in a way that others can relate to. And it helps me relive and process these memories in different ways, which helps to get over them or work through them.
N: What can readers expect from this collection?
R: These readers can expect some weird metaphors and queer poetry that can remind them of themselves. Other than that, I think it’s up to the reader’s interpretation.
N: What made you want to create a collection?
R: I write a LOT of poetry. I just want to get as much of it out there as possible, in ways that I can be proud of. I want others to read it and be inspired to write their own poetry. It helps so much to think about problems creatively, and shape them into pieces you can enjoy.
N: Is there a Writer or Poet that has influenced you or your work?
(If there is not put N/A and will dismiss this question)
R: T.S. Eliot really lit the fire in me to write serious poetry. My word choice is somewhat modeled after his in places. His level of creativity is something I always strive towards, something that no one has ever read before and will stick in their mind. Or, it just sounds good. Either way.
(Also I love K.A. Applegate, the author duo of The Animorphs. A lot of my prose/fiction writing is fueled by those books.)
N: What do you want readers to take away from your work?
R: I want them to take away that I was very lonely, and used poetry as an outlet for the emotions that arose, the thoughts that I had. That if they see themselves in the poems, then they can know that other people out there are feeling that way too? Less alone.
“Sooty dirty char
like they had just been burned again
Wispy and lithe
branches climbing up the sides but no leaves secured to any part
they had just been burned again”
– joan, p. 20
Raspberry Fingers will be published in January of 2023 by Nymeria Publishing. You can visit nymeriapublishing.com and follow @nymeriapublishing on social media for updates about the release.