Author Q&A with Bridgit Kuenning-Pollpeter
November 3, 2022
This week’s Author Q&A features Bridgit Kuenning Pollpeter. Bridgit is a mom and freelance writer from the Midwest. She is a graduate of the MFA in Writing Program at the University of Nebraska whose work has appeared in 13th Floor Magazine, Hippocampus Magazine, Random Sample Review, and elsewhere.
In 2023, she will lead a creative project with Anastasis Theatre Co., which will include directing and writing. You can follow her on Twitter @bkpollpeter or @AnastasisTheat1 to stay updated on the project.
Bridgit’s essay “Mutation of a Body” appears in our Autumn issue and we asked her to tell us some unique or surprising detail about the origin, drafting, and/or final version of the essay and what she learned through writing or revising it.
Her response: “A unique detail about the inception and drafting of this piece is the power of my emotions to drive my creative force, fueling my narrative voice and rhythm. Through writing and revising it, I discovered that my power as a writer lies in my deep emotional connection to the events and people I write about. I need a visceral reaction to dig into the story.”
We then asked her what part of the artistic process is the most difficult and why.
Her response: “For me, I find it challenging to revise once I’ve completed a piece. Initially, a burst of creative energy surges through me, but once the final spark lands, I find it difficult to revise and edit with intention.”
On the flip side of that, we wanted to know what was the most satisfying part of the process.
Her response: “It’s incredibly satisfying to pluck the perfect word and paint the just-right image to find narrative flow and purpose in my writing.”
This is great and we agree that there is a certain energy you feel when you know you’ve captured exactly what you want and how you want it, especially when you know it will convey the sentiment or message perfectly to a reader.
We then asked Bridgit what author(s) (or other persons) have been the biggest influence on her writing or what she enjoys reading and why?
Her response: “I read anything, but I love writers who think outside the box and aren’t scared of lyrical prose—writers who speak with unabashed authority and use their art to change the world. A couple of writers who’ve had major impacts on me are Maxine Hong Kingston, Lidia Yuknavitch, Neil Gaimon, Roxane Gay, and Quiara Alegia Hudes.”
What a great list! We then asked her what her biggest fear is as a writer.
Her response: “My biggest fear as a writer is being unseen, or, rather, unread. This is probably my biggest fear as a human in general.”
This concern is shared by many writers and, as she succinctly put it, is a basic human feeling. It’s relatable but also seems to be connected, in a way, to the other comments Bridgit offered when we asked if there was anything else she wanted to share with anyone who might read her essay…
Her response: “To readers taking the time to read this piece, I appreciate it so much. While the events of my vision loss may have started tragic, I do in fact have a blessed, fulfilled life. For me, the tragedy in this piece is not that I became blind, but that I live with a horrific eating disorder, and that my mental health resulted in my blindness. But living as a blind person for the past 20 years, I can say it’s not a sub-parr existence, and it’s not stopped me from living and achieving.”
This is both beautiful and inspirational! Thank you Bridgit!!
As we always do, we concluded our Q&A by asking what she thinks of when she hears the phrase, “The good life.”
Her response: “The good life for me is lounging in the sun, its warmth swathing my body, as a light breeze ribbons around me, while my daydreams pop in vivid scenes in my mind. And a Mojito in my hand doesn’t hurt either!”
Cheers to that! Thanks again Bridgit for trusting us with your story. We’re deeply honored for the opportunity to share it and more about you with our readers. We appreciate you taking the time to participate in this Q&A and wish you the best!
~The Good Life Review Team