Brittney Corrigan


Brittney CorriganBrittney Corrigan is the author of the poetry collection Navigation (The Habit of Rainy Nights Press, 2012) and the chapbook 40 Weeks (Finishing Line Press, 2012). Her poems have appeared widely in journals and anthologies, and she is the poetry editor for the online journal Hyperlexia: poetry and prose about the autism spectrum. Brittney lives in Portland, Oregon, where she is both an alumna and employee of Reed College.

What is your creative process — night owl or early bird? Writing group or lone wolf?

Since having children just over a decade ago, my creative process changed from having long, quiet blocks of time to write to learning to work with short, only somewhat-predictable bursts of time. I now carry the ideas for poems around in my head for quite a long time before they reach the page. So when I do carve out the time to write, the poems tend to come out whole and in nearly-finished form. I then show my first drafts to my writing group and work to incorporate their feedback. My poems usually have only two or three drafts before I finish them. My first drafts tend to be wordy and sometimes lacking in imagery, so I work in my revision process to cut unnecessary language and hone the language and imagery I want to shine. I work on one poem at a time and usually finish them within a couple of weeks.

What are you reading at the moment?

I’m currently reading The Museum of Extraordinary Things by Alice Hoffman. I read primarily contemporary fiction, and I especially like books that have elements of magical realism and are a little off-kilter or strange. In the world of poetry, I am currently reading Annie Lighthart’s Iron String.

How about favorite books?

My favorite novels are The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, In the City of Shy Hunters by Tom Spanbauer, The Bone People by Keri Hulme, The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver, and Bel Canto by Ann Patchett. And though I couldn’t pick single books, my favorite poets are Sharon Olds, Joy Harjo, Naomi Shihab Nye, and Deborah Digges. In the world of children’s literature, I’m especially fond of The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis and Fantastic Mr. Fox by Roald Dahl.