Reverie Fair Magazine Winter 2016 - Page 40

Lynne Handy is an author and poet who lives in an Illinois river town surrounded by forests. A former librarian, she has an intense interest in the written word. Her novel In the Time of Peacocks was published in 2013. She has published memoir pieces, short stories, and flash fiction in Memoir Journal, Lark’s Fiction Journal, and FewerThan500. “Green Lady,” a ghost story, was included in a 2015 anthology, Familiar Spirits. Her poetry has been published in Pegasus and Clementine Poetry Journal. “Girl Finding Voice” was nominated for a Pushcart Award. Her new book, Spy Car and Other Poems, is available through Amazon. Read about the process of how she brought this book to life with a little help from her friends at her website:

Lynne briefly touches on her poetic process here.


My first public poem honored my mother at a Mother’s Day tea. I was seven. In the years afterward I became educated, raised a family and worked in library systems. Now retired, I have time to study and refine my craft.

Image and sound are key elements in poetry. When I think of a metaphor, I wonder if it is original, or if in my years of reading, I ran across it somewhere and stowed it away. I’m at ease with risk. To claim a metaphor, I leap with it. Then I check to see if I’ve compromised clarity. Does it still paint the right picture? Is it ridiculous? In “Eve in Bosch’s The Garden of Earthly Delights,” Eve howls at the moon like a crocoboon. Crocoboon fits.

Image is important in how the poem looks on the page. For buoyancy, I write two-line stanzas. Weighty topics are denser. Sometimes I use spatial patterns to create mood. I used them in “Melange” and “Door,” which are featured in my chapbook, Spy Car and Other Poems, currently available on Amazon.

I work hardest for sound. Usually, tone comes with the first line of the poem. In a good poem, I think tone varies. Do I want to wake up the reader with alliteration? Where should I place soothing sounds? What can I do to firm up the integrity of the poem? I do countless rewrites.

Lynne Handy

Poet photo by Michael Barton