Janet Innes, whose poem ‘Birdie, Birdie’ is published in issue 7 of Lucent Dreaming, is a poet and writer from Rhode Island. Her poetry has been published both in print and online by Arsenic Lobster, Abyss & Apex, and the American Journal of Nursing, among other publications. ’Birdie, Birdie‘ is her first piece of flash fiction.
So, what inspired your piece ‘Birdie, Birdie’? Can you tell us a little more about what it’s about?
“Birdie, Birdie” is the result of a writing prompt between me and two other writers I met at the Creatures, Crimes, and Creativity conference in 2007 — write something horror-adjacent, and include a pigeon. It just took off from there. More broadly speaking, the story’s about how humans assume we’re superior beings, but that’s hardly a given.
What are some of your favourite books and art (including shows, videos, music) – of all time or more recently. Why are they favourites?
I love David Harsent’s poems for their brutal clarity and lyricism. Legion was the first collection of his that I read, and the menace and threat still haunt me. “I can wait as long as it takes. I can wait for ever.” [from “At the Seaside” in Legion] He writes mysteries, too. It’s rare to find someone who is so talented in both genres.
What, if anything, are you looking forward to right now and what writing/creative projects are you currently working on?
I recently bought an ice cream maker, so I am really looking forward to a summer of homemade ice cream!
On the creative front, I’m working on a novel set in the near future, during a global war in the Arctic. The story is about two women who belong to the same cell of a terrorist group. I would really like to write something cheerful and kind for a change, but all my anxiety and fury about the state of the world seem to come out in my writing.
Can you tell us about how you got into writing and art? Is there anyone whose support or encouragement really inspired or motivated you?
I wrote my first story when I was seven — all I remember of it is a vivid description of blood running a foot deep on the palace floor! For most of my life, I wrote poetry, but I made a sharp turn to fiction after discovering National Novel Writing Month a decade ago. My family, especially my husband and my sister, are unfailingly supportive. And having a writing group has been invaluable. We all write in different genres — speculative fiction, noir, space opera — but the creative journey and struggle is the same, and it’s something that non-writers don’t really understand.
Where can people see more of you and your work?
I have a couple of short stories in the works, so hopefully they will find homes soon. I update my Twitter account, so you can follow me there: @Janet_Innes_
Lucent Dreaming is an independent creative writing magazine publishing beautiful, imaginative and surreal short stories, poetry and artwork from emerging authors and artists worldwide. Our aim is to encourage creativity and to help writers reach publication! Subscribe to Lucent Dreaming now, support us on Patreon and follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.